Monday, January 10, 2011

GNOSIS - You Have It, Right?

I've worked hard over the years.  I bet you have too.  It's one thing to find a measure of success in life; but it's even more fulfilling when that measure of success is in a professional discipline you love.  That is quite a combination.  Obviously we (read here -> "I") must be pretty bright to have achieved all of this.  Right?


The ancient Greeks have a word for knowledge - Gnosis.  This was more than your ordinary knowledge though.  This knowledge set certain individuals apart from the masses.  If you had gnosis, you were something special.  You were a player.  Just like we (read again -> "I") am.  Right?

Do you believe you have gnosis?  Do you find yourself believing you are the smartest person in the room?  That, my friends, is a dangerous world view...or corporate view...or department view.  Sadly, sometimes, it's my view too.


When we believe we truly do have all the knowledge, when we have all the gnosis, what might we miss?  If we're able to step outside ourselves for a moment, the list becomes quite clear.  We miss the diversity around us, the opportunity to maximize new ideas, and the creativity of those on our teams.  We miss the chance to shape the cultures of our organizations from being a good employer, to being a world-class employer.

Simply said, we miss a lot.


What happens when we no longer believe we have anything left to learn because we're in a certain job title, or have achieved a certain level of professional or financial success?  Have we become a modern Apollonius of Tyana?

Did we accomplish all of this ourselves?  Is anyone that good?  For those of us that have become too full of ourselves, I challenge you to join me in looking for a humbling experience this week.  Embrace it.  Come back to earth.


So who is going to take my challenge?  Who will actively embrace a moment to be humble...ordinary...real.  It's hard to admit we aren't special, or on the cutting-edge, or whatever other adjectives make us feel like we've really made it in life.  As it turns out, Apollonius wasn't so special after all either.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of


  1. Jay,

    Thank you for forcing me back to Western Civ 101, freshman year of college. Great points.

    Didn't know if you saw Mike Rowe's Ted Talk (

    When Mike talks about "Anagnorisis and Peripeteia" well, it all makes sense.

  2. Thanks John. I'll check out Mike's posts. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  3. Nice call Dwane. I may have aimed too low.