Knowledge Has A New Rival

“Inability to create relationship and connection will eventually bankrupt a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.” 

Knowledge is king.

For as long as we can remember what you knew trumped who you were in our organizations and institutions.  Knowledge was power.  It was your ticket to the top.  The more you knew, the higher up the ladder you would climb.  Content provided control.  And while that still rings true…

In the 21st century, knowledge has a new rival…


Relationship has taken its place as a new ruler in town.  In the age of Google, it is no longer just about how much knowledge and content we can hoard and retain. Rather, it is about creating connection and our ability to impart that knowledge.  Our ability to create access…and connection.

Why is this important for modern day leaders?

As we consider and approach professional development for our people in the future…knowledge and strategy, without relationship and connection…can often serve as a recipe for failure.  It doesn’t matter how much we know if we are unable to create the relationships and connections that allow us to impart that knowledge.

For so long we spent our professional development time and efforts on acquiring knowledge, content, and strategies.  Unfortunately, we never looked at whether we were giving people the necessary skills to impart this learning.  We spent little, if any, of our professional development efforts on the soft skills and emotional intelligences that enhance relationship building and connection.

Often our most brilliant people, the experts in their field, lack the emotional intelligence and soft skills necessary to create the connections and relationships that give others access to that knowledge and wisdom.  As leaders we would often look past this disconnect because of their level of expertise…unfortunately, modern day leaders can no longer keep a blind eye to this disconnect.

A leaders, we have to look at the process of learning from a more wholistic view…

We still must remain well-versed and knowledgeable, however, that is no longer the bottom line.  Especially, now that knowledge, learning, and content surround us constantly.  The ability to create connections and build relationships is a vital and necessary part of the learning process.

For we must remember…without connection and without relationship…very often the one thing we are after, the learning, is the one thing that is lost.

1 thought on “Knowledge Has A New Rival

  1. It always struck me as odd that universities put so much stock in GPAs in reviewing applications to teacher training programmes. Teaching is a personality game and we’ve all seen “smart” people fail in the classroom. Perhaps we need to revisit the screening process.

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