Mastery on the dance floor » Hobby Turned World Record

Achieving mastery can take a long time. This is especially true if you are pursuing mastery in something other than your profession, when you have only limited time to dedicate to the ‘hobby.’ As a result, many people look for a “quick-fix” to achieve final results without actually learning anything.

So it was nice to see Paolina’s post at Green Chameleon about her pursuit of mastery in salsa, and the unexpected rewards that pursuit brought her way.

When I first started to salsa in 1998, the result of my sister having won two free passes for 6 lessons, I was immediately hooked on the dance and after those 6 lessons, signed on and went faithfully every weekend to dance class for 2 years. Since then, there has been the occasional salsa workshop or choreography I would do, or performance at events, as a hobby.

Little did I expect the highlight of my salsa experience to involve having my name in the Guinness Book of Records.

Dance, like the martial arts, is one of those areas where you can learn some steps, learn a routine, and perform it relatively well, but not be able to actually apply that routine to another situation. You haven’t really learned to dance, you’ve learned a dance.

This is reflective of how organizations go about knowledge management: Some want to manage their knowledge, and some want a knowledge management system. The latter is easy to do, anyone will sell you a knowledge management system. Actually understanding what your organization knows and being able to use it to further your organization’s goals, on the other hand, is a master’s journey that, unfortunately, too few seem willing to take.

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