Empty Your Cup of Knowledge

I am a fan of old Pacific Lutheran football coach Frosty Westering and a saying he uses before he speaks “empty your cup”. (Being Frosty, he actually demonstrates the illustration, water goes everywhere etc.) The essence of the saying is that if we go into anything thinking our cup of knowledge is full, we will not have any room to learn anything knew.

We must first empty our cup, and then look for ways to fill it with the knowledge of others.

This is something that I struggle with, and am trying to work on. I am an internet geek, I know a little about a lot, but true knowledge comes from relationships not the internet.

I struggle with this at my job as well. As an Ad Exec, I have a tendency to always want to come off as the marketing “expert” to my clients. I have the education, experience, support groups, etc. and my client does not, so I should understand marketing more than most of my clients who spend most of the day running their businesses.

But that is not always the case. As much as I try to understand my clients business, they still know it better than I do. Sometimes I make a mistake or overlook something, and the client can add some good insight. Other times my clients wealth of knowledge might be different than mine, and they may offer a great idea that I have never thought of.

Bottom line, no matter how much of an expert you think you are in any particular area, always listen to others as if they are an expert. It’s amazing what you learn with an open mind.

  • http://www.wackyweek.com TIm Hunter

    I’d only challenge the part about “true knowledge comes from relationships”. and amend that say that it comes from “experience”.
    Relationships are what allow you to be experts. By demonstrating that you know what you are doing, you establish a pattern between you and the client. This allows you to provide them with expertise.
    Now, back at the farm, when you have an agency of experience to tap into, there is a ton of knowledge to be gained. You’re all on the same team, there is no competition (or shouldn’t be) other than to challenge each other to perform their best. But that’s done in a trusting way. You have to believe people are good at what they do or, frankly, fire them and bring in someone who CAN do the job. I need to know you’re doing absolute best of what your part of this advertising machine is, so i can focus on mine.
    True knowledge comes as a result of wanting to learn, being an open sponge, taking it all in and observing. Every day, we, as an agency, are surrounded by lessons. Some learn, others ignore, the sun goes down and we start all over the next day. Those who learn are looking for the next lesson. Those who ignore have the opportunity to learn again.
    And the beat goes on……

  • http://changeitmarketing.com Kevin

    Good points Tim. You are right experience is key, I should have explained myself better. I should have said the best knowledge comes from your experiences in relationships.

    As usual you put it into words better than I do. Maybe that is why you are the Creative Director and write the copy, and I do not.