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Today's Marketing Cookie - Gaining Wisdom
"Your wisdom shall always keep you from danger."
Today's Marketing Cookie came via email from Tom Dennis. (You should follow him on Twitter: @TDBrand.) Mr. Dennis is the Past President of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the AMA. This weekend, he will be in Chicago giving an acceptance speech for the AMA Volunteer of the Year Award, in front of about 400 chapter leaders from across North America. This award includes a lifetime honorary membership in the AMA and is the highest honor given to chapter leaders. I'm not sure if Tom is the "crying type", but having been the recipient of this award last year, I can say that it was a deeply emotional moment for me... and I cried in front of everyone.
The fortune that Tom sent to me for today, suggests that your wisdom will help you avoid danger. Notice that the message says nothing of "knowledge", which is gained from study, reading, and research. No. It clearly says WISDOM, which I believe comes only from experience. In order for your wisdom to keep you from danger, you must have been in danger before, and depending on the depth of your wisdom, you've probably seen the likes of danger more than once.
In my estimation, there are two primary ways to avoid danger:
The first is to "play it safe". If you don't do dangerous things, you will avoid danger, and you'll probably pay less for life insurance. The price you'll pay for playing safe, is that you will always stay inside the box, and will never learn your limits. Being safe teaches you nothing about danger.
The second way to avoid danger, is to "take risks". When you find yourself in danger, you learn how to avoid those pitfalls the next time you see them in the future. I'm not saying that you must make every possible mistake in order to learn what a mistake looks like. On the contrary, the amazing thing about wisdom is that can be applied effectively to more than one situation. Each time you trip, stumble or fail, you will gain more wisdom, which ultimately makes you more powerful. Depending on how quickly you learn, you'll eventually be able recognize danger from a mile away.
I had the privilege of serving as a judge for the Volunteer of the Year Award this year. In reading through the nomination that was submitted for Tom, I found that his accomplishments included several initiatives that were described with phrases like "first-ever", "largest" and "most ever". Tom has a wealth of experience and he leveraged his business acumen to take risks "safely", and his chapter benefited from his wisdom. As a leader, he started new "big idea" concepts, many of which had never been tried before, but have since flourished into a platform of stability for his successors. So, the next time you take a risk with your marketing and make a dangerous mistake, be grateful for the wisdom you've gained... one day it will pay back in spades.