Understanding the Knowledge Pyramid

who you knowYou’ve heard it said, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s not entirely true. In the following 3 paragraphs we’ll explore these two along with another perspective of which you may be unaware. They are each important elements of professional growth.

What you know is an important building block, because it’s the foundation on which you can build. You can gain knowledge by attending classes, seminars, reading books or by simply listening to or watching the behaviors and interactions of others. Use whichever method best suits you to gain as much knowledge as you possibly can about your chosen field. It will be a great help in the next phase.

Who you know is the 2nd phase. Often times we think we’ve done enough by gaining necessary knowledge about a subject. However, this won’t necessarily put us on the proverbial path to success. Much of our success after learning will is based on whom we know. Therefore, we have to learn how to build and cultivate lasting relationships. Don’t be pretentious in your approach. Most people can see through those who are trying to angle them for gain. Build lasting relationships by showing genuine interest in others. Ask good questions and listen. That is a good start.

Who knows you is last, but certainly not least. Depending on your chosen career, this element is crucial. Let’s say for example, I know 100 people and they know me. My sphere of influence could possibly be limited to those 100 and maybe their connections. If I were to write a book, I’m very limited in my reach because of how many people know me. I may write the best book ever written, but the sales might be poor. Donald Trump or Robert Kiyosaki could write a book and offer identical information as a previous book and still sell a million copies. The reason is because far more people know and respect what they’ve done and the brand they’ve built. The New York Times doesn’t have a, “Best Written Books List; however, they do have a Best Sellers List.” Start a website, write blogs, create YouTube videos or find speaking engagements. These are a few ways to start getting your name out there and establish yourself as an industry professional.

Get as much knowledge as you can. Build lasting and meaningful relationships. Build a brand as yourself, a product or a service. Never stop building and reach for the skies.


Eric L. Lipsey