Some personal experiences on specialised knowledge
The faculties of the great universities possess, in the aggregate, practically every form of general knowledge known to civilisation. Most of the professors have but little or nomomey. They specialise in teaching knowledge, but they do not specialise on organisation or the use of knowledge. There are two kinds of knowledge—one is general, the other is specialised. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of riches.
Knowledge will not attract riches, unless it is organised, and intelligently directed through practical plans of action, to the definite end of accumulation of riches. Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that “knowledge is power. “Knowledge is power.” It is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when and if it is organised into definite plans of action and directed to a definite end.
This “missing link” in all systems of education known to civilisation today, may be found in the failure of educational institutions to teach their students how to organise and use knowledge after they acquire it.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that, because Henry Ford had but little schooling, he was not a man of Education. Those who made this mistake do not know Henry Ford, nor do they understand the real meaning of the word educate. The word is derived from the Latin word Educo meaning to educe, to draw out, to develop from within.
An educated man is not necessarily, one who has awabundance of general or specialised knowledge.
An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others. Henry Ford comes well within the meaning of this definition.
During the first world war, a Chicago newspaper published certain editorials in which, among other statements, Henry Ford was called “an ignorant pacifist”. Ford objected to the statement and brought suit against the paper for labelling him, when the suit was tried in the Courts the attorneys for the paper pleaded justification, and placed Ford, himself, on the witness stand, for the purpose of proving to the fury that he was ignorant. The attorneys asked Ford a great varicity of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence, that while he might possess considerable specialised knowledge pertaining to the menufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main ignorant.
Ford was plied with such questions as the following:- “Who was Benedict Arnold?” “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the rebellion of 1776?” In answer to the last question, Ford replied, “I do not know the exact number of soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably larger number that ever went back.”
Finally, Ford became tired of this line of questioning , and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question and said, ‘If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked me, let remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my assistants who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of beingable to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
That certainly was good logic to that reply. That answer floored the lawyer. Every person in the courtroom realised it was the answer, not of an ignorant man, but of a man of education. Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it and how to organise that knowledge into definite plans of action. Through the assistance of his “master mind group, Henry Ford had at his command all the specialised knowledge, he needed to enable him to become one of the wealthiest men in the world. It was not essential that he had this knowledge in his own mind. Surely no person who has sufficient inclination and intelligence to read a book of this nature can possibly miss the significance of this illustration.
Before you can be sure of your ability to transmute your desire into its physical equivalent, you will require specialised knowledge of the service or the profession which you intend to offer in return for fortune. Perhaps you may need much more specialized knowledge than you have the ability or the inclination to acquire, and if this should be true, you may bridge your weekness through the help of your master mind group.
The owner of the famous steel industry stated that he personally knew nothing about the technical knowhow of the steel business, moreover, he did not particularly care to know anything about it. The specialised knowledge which he required for the manufacture and marketing of steel, he found available though the individual units of his master mind group.
The accumulation of great fortune calls for power, and power is acquired through highly organised and intelligently directed specialised knowledge, but that knowledge does not, necessarily, have to be in the possession of the man who accumulates the fortune. The preceding paragraph should give hope and encouragement to the new with ambition to accumulate a fortune, who has not possessed himself of the necessary education to supply such specialised knowledge as he may require. Men sometimes go through life suffering from “Inferiority complex”, because they are not men of education. The men who can organise and direct a mastermind group of men who possess. Knowledge useful in the accumulation of fortune is just as much a men to education as any man in the group. It will be good to remember that if you suffer from a feeling of inferiority complex, because your schooling has been limited.
Thomas Alva Edison had only three months of schooling during his entire life. He did not lack education neither did he die poor.
Henry Ford had less than a sixth grade schooling but he had managed to do
pretty well by himself.