Recently, I was having a discussion with my daughter and she was telling me about one of her college professors.

She made the observation that the prof only teaches a limited amount of subject matter, compared to her other professors who teach multiple subjects within their chosen field.

The professor, when asked why he only teaches his subject at the micro level, recently told the class: “You can know a little about a lot or a lot about a little, but not both.”

Wow!  What a great statement.

The truth of that principle goes way beyond the classroom. In fact, it applies to every area of life, especially leadership.

[Tweet “In your field you either know a little about a lot or a lot about a little, but not both.”]

The question is, which is better? That depends on your context.

The point is not to prove that one is better than the other. The point is to make sure you are aware of the principle so you can apply it to your situation.

For some of you, it is vital that you have a big picture broad perspective. For others, you need to be more focused and take a narrow approach.

Sprinters are very fast, but not for long. Distance runners can go a long way, but not very fast. The principle applies.

When it comes to relationships, you can have a few at a deeper level, or dozens that are very shallow. Again the principle applies.

If you want to maximize your influence, you better learn the principle of a little or a lot.

“You can know a little about a lot or a lot about a little, but not both.”

Leadership Begins at Home,


Which is more important in your leadership context, a little about a lot or a lot about a little?

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