SHARE AND TEACH TODAY – OPEN UP FULLY TO OTHERS – Di Tran learned from Tom Ransdell
I have previously mentioned that I was shy to a level at which I could not have been shyer. Delivering a presentation during my sixth year of my master’s degree program, I was shaking uncontrollably inside, and I could not open my mouth in class. “Learn by doing,” Mom said frequently to enforce my confidence. So, I learned to overcome my fear of public speaking by simply establishing a conversation by sharing my knowledge openly. I learned that learning is one skill, and helping others learn is another skill. “Di, talking is to be understood; we don’t talk just to talk. Speak slowly, emphasize the key terms, work with the punctuation, and help guide others toward what you wish them to know.” This advice was given to me by my first and most important mentor, Thomas Ransdell. Thomas was the first American mentor that I was fortunate to meet at a Catholic church mass, very early during my fourth year in the United States. He was recruiting young men to join the Catholic priesthood, and I was interested in this career path as a young man. I learned from Thomas Ransdell the power of sharing knowledge and volunteering, as most of the work he did for the Catholic church was in the form of volunteering and teaching others. This gentleman, over the age of 70, took me under his wing and taught me life lessons and business operating ideas, conversations which took place after we first discussed God. Today, he is still my point of reference for helping others. He taught me to share my knowledge openly and freely with others in my professional and business life.
Many have asked me, “Di, how can you do what you do? You share everything you have learned and done.” By this, they refer to the common hesitation people often have about revealing “trade secrets.” People often believe that if they share all of their information, others will then know how to do their job, giving the company an easy way to replace them, often at a lower salary. It is also assumed that people may take credit for the work and “steal” the knowledge, using it and claiming it as their own. Another concern is that people can then use your system because they know how you work. In response to these concerns, I often answer, “I have learned that what I know is limited. What I believe to be great, is not necessarily so. What I believe to be the best technique has been proven wrong time and time again. Knowledge must be validated, and I like to be validated.” The “others,” who comprise an infinite foundation for me, are the major source of my knowledge. I have learned that only when I share with others will they, in turn, share with me. “Son, it’s best to be the first one to share, so others will be less cautious and open to work with you.” Mom taught me how to bounce ideas and knowledge off of others, who may reject my understanding. I am a human like everyone else, and so I do consider the risk of sharing. However, over the past 40 years, I have learned that the risk of thinking I know, when I actually do not know is much higher than the risk of sharing. I want confirmation, and I want my knowledge to be validated by many as true and correct. In PhD empirical research, this is known as the “confidence level,” which is in regard to what the research sets out to prove. I want the confidence level of what I know to be as high as possible. Oprah Winfrey once confirmed that after years of interviewing many leaders and celebrities, she has found that “people want validation” from others. I have learned that validation does not come if I do not share first. I have found comfort in this when I recognize that once I share something, I have already moved beyond that one thing I shared, and on to something else that is much greater. “If you only have that one thing you think you should hold on to, then that’s all you will have. You restrict yourself to that one thing. Life offers a lot a lot more than this.
Louisville – Thomas Garry Ransdell, 94, entered Eternal Life January 7, 2019.