Thursday, October 21, 2004

"The Apprentice?"

I'm watching The Apprentice tonight. I enjoy the show because I believe it's important to glean information from successful people whenever I can. That doesn't mean I agree with everything Donald Trump says, or his demeanor, or any other number of things. I cannot, however, deny his successes, so I'll take what I can get.

There was one thing said that struck me as being a little bit off target. The bow tie wearing Raj made this remark after meeting Michael Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York City. He said "Knowledge is power, and power is a gift that can never be taken away from you". Here are my thoughts on that comment.

First of all, knowledge is not power; applied knowledge is. There are people who have all kinds of knowledge, but still they may lead lives of quiet desperation.

Next, I would have to say that power is usually not a gift, but something that is earned, or won. It is also worth noting that power can be taken away from you. In fact, it happens all the time. People can have too much pride, and fall from grace.

Finally, I think it's important to distinguish between power and leadership. They are not synonymous, but people often confuse the two. Power can sometimes derive from coercion, real leadership never does.

If I were to have a chance to re-write the quote it would go something like this: "Applied knowledge is earned and becomes a gift when it evolves into leadership, and that is something that cannot be taken from you". I know it's a bit wordy, but let's just consider it a first draft ;)

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