What highly productive people know that makes them extra-smart and unusually productive.
Question: When you hear someone referred to as smart, what do you think they mean?
Do they mean the individual has advanced degrees, they’d be great on jeopardy, or have a high IQ? Yeah, that might apply.
Personally, when I label someone as smart, I’m thinking beyond academics and the acquisition of knowledge.
To me, calling someone smart implies that they are not only good decision-makers, they also know how to effectively turn knowledge into know-how, and know-how into results. This makes them highly-productive individuals.
In the business world, they’re called” smart,” There also considered prime candidates for leadership positions.
So the question is, what do the productive individuals think? What are the basic principles that productive people know and apply that makes them smart and more productive.
After some brainstorming, here’s my list of what highly productive people know.
Here’s what they know
- They know the difference between then and now.
- They know the difference between opinions and facts.
- They know to surround themselves with smart people.
- They know it’s not what you know that counts, it’s what you do with it.
- They know that how you think is often more important than what you think.
- They know it takes a fraction as much time to think and plan, than to act and do.
- They know that causes and the related effects are sometimes separated greatly by time.
- They know they learn more while listening than while talking and know, therefore, it pays to listen before they talk.
- They know not to make policy decisions based on too small a sample size; “bad law comes from extreme cases.”
- They know that knowledge is one thing, intelligent application based on experience and sound judgement is another.
- They know that time spent in reflection and creative thought is often more productive than doing and being busy.
- They know that saying “if only I had more time” is a waste of time; the solution is delegation, but only if to dependable delegates.
- They know that the best decisions are grounded and guided by ‘first principles’ and ‘enlightened values’ such as kindness, fairness, compassion, and integrity.
- They know that it pays to seek out, and be open to information contrary to their own point of view; this helps lead to decisions that are more likely to be accepted by the opposition.
- They know what it takes to engender trust and credibility: they admit when they are wrong; they don’t back-pedal or flip-flop; their behavior and attitudes are congruent; they are consistently honest and true to their word; they keep their promises and follow through.
- They know that to know better is not always to do better.
- They know the best decisions evolve out of a diversity of opinion.
- They know that change is inevitable; they anticipate and plan for it.
- They know that money isn’t everything and not everyone can be bought.
- They know there are no dumb questions, only dumb or sarcastic answers.
- They know that many arguments are often only a matter of degree, not principle.
- They know that one of the most important character traits to pursue is trustworthiness.
- They know they don’t know everything and being curious and inquisitive can be revelatory.
- They know not to be too quick to make decisions based on circumstantial or selective evidence.
- They know that almost any decision is arguable if you add exceptions and qualifiers to the equation.
- They know that difficult decisions can be complicated and often involve multiple relevant variables.
- They know not to unquestionably believe everything they read or hear, since much is often not as it first appears.
- They know, in communications, to seek common ground, that which can be agreed upon, before addressing differences.
- They know that seeking honest feedback is more important than seeking ego gratification and acting like a know-it-all.
- They know to tread lightly when confronted with unsubstantiated speculation and unconfirmed evidence, especially if it favors their position.
- They know that when making decisions, not to rush, the results and consequences of a decision always last longer than the time it takes to make it.
- They know that a single piece of new information can dramatically change one’s perspective and outlook, and a decision based on it from yes to no, and vice versa.
- They know that the truth, however ugly, is more important to making good decisions than hearing only what makes them feel good. They can handle “truth to power.”
- They know that many arguments are triggered by, or escalated with, the use of absolutes such as, everyone and no one; always and never; every and only; all and none.
- They know it pays to pursue explanations of things that don’t make sense, things that appear to be “too good to be true,” even if it’s something they hope is true; this means they do look gift horses in the mouth.
The message is this: Think smart! Good decisions, action and productivity are the by-products.
The more you practice the above ideas, the more productive, effective, and successful you’ll become. Success is the by-product of intelligence wisely applied.
Let me know what you think of the list, e.g., favorites
Feel free to submit your personal suggestions. Write them beginning with the words — “They know…” to — RogerHance@msn.com.
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Roger Hance on… I’ll be back soon.
They know, “You don’t know anything unless you’ve learned it and you haven’t learned it unless you remember it.”Will Rogers
They know, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”Benjamin Franklin
They know, “To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”Edward R. Murrow