There is much wisdom surrounding us. Only the extremely vain will think there is nothing to gain by conversing with others. There is an old song from the 1960’s titled, “No Man Is an Island” based upon a meditation by John Donne. The lyrics remind us that no man stands alone. Now we say no person is an island and no person stands alone, at least, not anyone who wants to gain information.
There is value gained from listening to anyone, but if you are in a hurry, pick the people you choose to listen to. Select someone who has achieved what you want to accomplish, someone whom you admire, or someone who intrigues you. Listening to a person is one of the highest compliments you can give to an individual. Most will give you some of their time when they see how much you value it.
Educate yourself through reading, attending conferences, or with new experiences. Along with educating yourself is the necessity to evaluate the information you are gathering. Information is just data, and some of it is erroneous. Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy that we fail to replenish our sources of knowledge. Put your conference notes and handouts in a reading file to look over when you have some downtime.
Courses presented at professional events have been selected to fill a need expressed by attendees. Whether for professional credit or non-credit, these courses have been selected by your peers to fit your niche. Education can also be informal. A self-made leader has the natural ability to encourage others to reach their potential. However you choose to do it, obtain knowledge through education.