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What Have You Learned Today?

Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.

–Socrates

Why I love these words from Socrates?

Because exploding amounts of knowledge and new technologies, while rather unchanged learning abilities of human beings, leave all of us with an increasing challenge to accept how much we do not know.

Because I believe in humbleness and courage as important values in life. Including our professional life. In these confusing, disruptive and fast-changing years more than ever.

Because it takes courage to be truly humble. Only the strongest are able to admit and accept what they do not know as that position might look weak to those who haven’t yet learned the meaning of real strength.

Because these words from an almost 2500-year-old philosopher remind us that although much has changed, many important things have not.

Scientifically, our brains have not changed for more than 50.000 years, and they were a lot more like us than we might think. We have no reason whatsoever to feel superior to ancient people.

Because I believe Socrates’ words are more important than ever. Society, business, technologies, and knowledge change faster than ever and faster than any one person can comprehend. The winners in life, society and business will be those humble and brave enough to listen, learn, adjust and grow.

What do you think?

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Kim Buch-Madsen
Kim Buch-Madsen
Kim Buch-Madsen has comprehensive experience in the fields of innovation, management, and business strategy. Kim is a partner in a digital content start-up and accredited censor by the Danish Ministry of Education. He is the author and co-author of several books including the brand new “Marketing Models” and the upcoming "Modern Business Strategy". He holds a bachelor's degree in business analysis and a Master of Science degree in strategy, management, and marketing.

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3 CONVERSATIONS

  1. When the oracle of Delphi told Socrates that he was the wisest man on Earth, Socrates replied saying “I know I don’t know.” Socrates knew there were many things he didn’t know. It was the acceptance of this condition that made him so wise. The awareness of not knowing has always been a rarity, even more so in today’s world. In fact, today we are witnessing conversations in which totally inexperienced people in a specific field rise to specialized connoisseurs, expressing strong opinions on the most disparate topics, from business to politics. This attitude is also linked to the inability to take a step back, to be humble and to have the courage to recognize it above all to oneself. Practicing humility allows us to always get back in the game and continue learning.

  2. Kim this is terrific. I find that when we can shift from knowledge that we have acquired in the frame of what’s right or wrong, over to knowing in each moment what is right for us then we are truly in our power and humble at the same time. This is the kind of knowing that makes us equal with everyone.

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