Is your school moto still relevant? - 17th Nov 2016

Like many schools, my high school had a moto. In what I have always viewed as a bit too ‘try-hard’ my school’s moto was Latin, and this was emblazoned on the school crest in every prominent area of the school grounds and on our uniform. It read “Scientia potestas est”, loosely translated as “Knowledge is power”.  

In the 20 years since I left high school much has changed. Most of this change I never foresaw; some I didn’t notice. One thing I have always known though is that the expression knowledge is power is wrong, and in fact it has never been the whole truth.

Today, anybody can be a google expert, and with the advent of the fourth Industrial Revolution, knowledge as we know it is changing. In the sphere of organisational culture and leadership in which I spend my days, I believe the value of knowledge itself is diminishing, and is being replaced by a skill much harder to teach than rote learning facts.

Where true power lies from a leadership perspective is in providing clarity in a world overwhelmed by information. Indeed, clarity is now power or “Claritas potentas est”.  True leadership is the ability to shine a light on what matters, now, and to enable people to understand why this is the case for them. This provision of clarity of purpose, fit, and direction is where leadership separates from management. Clearing away the noise and elevating awareness for people is the essence of leadership conversations.

My own moto of having better conversations about work; at work embodies this concept of providing clarity of focus through the ability to speak meaningfully to anyone and everyone you work with. This is where lasting ‘power’ in leadership lies.

On that note – let’s chat! I’m working with leaders and teams seeking their own clarity on the way forward in today’s fast-changing business environment.


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@KirrynZerna You're welcome - I love your posts @KirrynZerna! Super relevant and on-point. I hope all's well across the ditch!?
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