What is most Important for Success- Knowledge, Power or Wealth?

At our learning centre, we recently held a discussion on- “What is important for success- knowledge, power or wealth?”


Importance of Power

The participants in the discussions were entrepreneurs, corporate executives, bankers and others. Different views were presented by the speakers. Some considered knowledge as most important factor. They enumerated examples of successful people who had risen from being unknown to highly rated successful individual by consistently acquiring knowledge and gainfully using it. Knowledge in such cases did not necessarily mean any university degree or such other qualification. Knowledge, here, denotes application of mind of the practical knowledge received through any medium and using the same for earning name, fame and wealth. Steve Jobs is one such example. Our own Dhirubhai Ambani is another. Even Warren Buffet’s story is no different. It is rags to riches. While academic Knowledge has also helped lots of people to become successful and famous.


Importance of Power

The role of power in success, too, cannot be undermined. Politicians achieve power and then use the same to achieve greater power. This is how power helps them to be successful. In the present scenario, a powerful politician can introduce his/her son or daughter to become a nominated leader and in the process achieve success in politics. Many politicians, today, are following this model of leadership succession. Likewise, a powerful bureaucrat can use his power to help his friend relative to achieve success.


Importance of Wealth

Wealth can buy knowledge and power. So, one may say that if you have money, you can achieve any goal by hiring people, facilities to create any large project and achieve success.  But without Knowledge achieved through experience it is very difficult to see the success of a large project. Political leaders can no doubt introduce their wards in leadership succession through the power they wield, but unless they   ensure that the latter gain sufficient experience, the entrant may not be successful.  Knowledge acquired through experience alone will bring success to them. Here too, Knowledge gained with experience becomes important. Power alone will not work.

So, the fact of the matter is that knowledge learnt through studies or gained through experience is indeed very important in any field.

But, it needs to be remembered that the meaning of success has to be defined by each and every individual in his/her own terms.

How should one do that? That will be a subject of another post.

Thank you.

Smart Skills


Education is necessary, but skill is essential. Unfortunately, our education system per se is such that it hardly helps an individual develop skills. Much less the skills I think are most important for living life happily and successfully.  I am talking about two skills in particular – skill with oneself, and skill with people.

 A child is born with some tendencies which may have a lot to do with his/her parentage. What is his father’s attitude to life, what is that of his mother, and more importantly how their relationship with each other. While these factors continue to have their influence on the growth of the child, various other influences start playing an important role during the growing

years. The teacher, the class mates, friends, relatives, and neighbors – all influence the child. It is hard to say how much these help in developing either of the two skills which I have mentioned above – skill with oneself, and skill with other people.

 So what should be done? Whatever best steps can be taken by all concerned for developing both these skills. The education system as it is today can hardly help. Teachers are bound by the curriculum and the parents may not be able to find the time from their busy schedule in the competitive life of today.  But the ever growing media today can play a very important role provided a parent/parents are able to guide and regulate the exposure and use of the media by the child. The significance of Internet must be realized. All the knowledge required is available on the net. But one may say that a skill cannot be delivered by the information/knowledge on the net. Yes it is true to a large extent. Yet you tube presentations and other interactive programs make it possible to learn a lot from the net. In times to come, I am sure, the growth of the social media with websites focusing on special subjects will bring about a revolution in the concept of education and training. The need is that the parents, teachers and mentors motivate learners to be focused and stick to what they must and should not be distracted.

Developing skill with yourself, to me means listening and talking to your oneself. It means to understand your heart, identify what you really like and to concentrate your energies towards these.

Developing skill with people means to understand simple human psychology. You interaction with them should never ignore the following basic principles;

I)  That each one is interested in more in himself/herself than you.

II) That I, me, mine puts people off.

III) That making people talk makes them feel important.

IV)That when you win an argument you lose a friend so never argue.

V) That listening attentively to others will make them feel important. They like you most when you to that.

VI) That you need to skillfully convince people. If you say something that is obviously to your advantage, people will be skeptical. So do it differently. Say how an important third person appreciated your products/efforts/service. This will help create confidence in the minds of people about you.

 More on this in my next Post. Thanks for reading.