In a recent Facebook video post, my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, Carlos Machado, said something that can truly relate to business as well as martial arts. He said, “Nobody knows it all and nobody knows enough.” For those that know of Carlos Machado, this statement is surprising because he has spent his life training in Jiu Jitsu. He’s a World Champion, eighth degree Black Belt who has opened training academies all over the world. You might think, “if he doesn’t know it all about Jiu Jitsu, who does?” and the answer is just as he said, “nobody.” The reason is, it’s not about how long you’ve studied something, or how long you’ve been around the business because there are always, always ways to improve yourself and help those around you improve themselves as well.
True leaders in business are always learning and developing their skills and adding value to the people they lead. If they do not take the time to develop and grow their own skills, then the person behind them, nipping at their heels, surely would be. Throughout my career, I have run into countless people in the business world who believe they have learned everything they need to learn or have been around the block long enough to know what they think they need to know and they are, therefore, resistant to learning anything new. What they don’t realize is, their competition, (if they are smart), has adopted Carlos Machado’s mentality and realize that standing still in the market place is dangerous.
I am fortunate because I already believe what Carlos believes. I know that, it is impossible to improve at anything if you don’t take the time to work and develop your skills. I have been involved in Martial Arts in some form since I was nine years old. Now, at 43 years old, I find myself back in the Jiu Jitsu ring learning as if I had never learned anything about the art in the first place. Had I foolishly thought that I already knew it all, I would not be open to the many positive, growth-building experiences that I have had throughout my life.
I have been blessed enough to train and be the corner-person for other, younger, fighters and while I know they look up to me, I hope they know that I look up to them as well because we can all learn from one another if we are open-minded enough to do so. Likewise, if you’re a leader in business, you are responsible to be a builder of legacies. You, like Carlos Machado, must help the next generation improve and learn to lead others following behind you. I feel lucky that I will never “know it all or know enough” because I can continuously strive to improve myself and those around me daily.
Imagine the possibilities if everyone had this mentality. And think of all there is to live for!