Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

The "USE" of Knowledge is POWER

April 29, 2018

by Robert Stevenson

The phrase "scientia potentia est” is a Latin aphorism meaning "knowledge is power". I believe you need to expand that phrase with three additional words to make it universally correct: The “USE” of knowledge is POWER. There are a lot of smart people in this world, with incredible “knowledge”, but they fail to fully reach their potential because they are unable to “USE” that knowledge to their advantage. Knowing what to do and having the courage to do it are entirely two different things. Novelist, statesman and scientist von Goethe said it this way: “Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.”

I am preparing a leadership program that I will be delivering this Wednesday for senior management of manufacturing companies with operations in the Southeast. If I only share this information with no suggestions of what to do with it … I will have a room full of unhappy executives. Having the knowledge of these facts is only helpful if you do something with them. I heard it once said, “Knowing what to do and not doing it, is the same as not knowing what to do.” (Sharma) Here are a few of the facts (knowledge) that I will be sharing with them:

  • Text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate.
    Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate.
    Time to respond to a text - 90 seconds. Time to respond to an email - 90 minutes.
  • With over 800,000 new websites every day, consumer buying behaviors are changing;
    34% of Americans have made a purchase while sitting on a toilet.
  • 80% of companies believe their service level sets them apart from their competition.
    8% of their customers believe the company exhibited a higher level of service than competitor.
  • Over 200 studies on 275,000 people worldwide found that customer satisfaction scores were 42% higher with happy employees.
  • Roughly 75% of the workforce listed their immediate supervisor/boss as the most stressful part of their job and 46% of employees leave their job because they did not feel appreciated.
  • According to the Society for Human Resource Management, they have estimated that every time a business has to replace a salaried employee, it costs the company, on average, 6 to 9 months' salary in recruiting and training expenses.
  • There are only 7 musical notes but look what Beethoven did with those 7 notes.
    There are only 7 colors in a rainbow, but, look what Michelangelo did with those 7 colors.
    There are 7 words that will destroy a company: “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
  • Small businesses are in a WAR to survive.
    Of all small businesses started in 2011:
    4% - made it to the second year
    3% of those - made it to the third year
    9% of those - made it to the fourth year
    3% of those - made it to the fifth year
  • Peter Drucker, the management guru once said: “90% of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get things done.” So, what should management be like? Think of the teachers who helped you the most. You know exactly who they are. You will remember them the rest of your life because they had such a profound impact on your life.

Great leaders are people of action; they make things happen with what they know, learn, or find out. So, to me, knowledge is not power … it’s the “USE” of knowledge that is POWER. Great leaders will take the above information and DO something with it. I think Leonardo da Vinci said it best: “I am impressed with the urgency of doing.” Great leaders are DOERS.

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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