Ohana Reads: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Ohana Editor Blog

Guest Post by Priya Wood, Marketing Associate 

I’ve always been a firm believer that there is power in education. Continuing education in a workforce can actually help engage employees! Graham Hunger recently wrote an article outlining the value of encouraging continuous education in the workplace. He writes about how employees and employers can benefit from an environment encouraging continuous learning. Two important benefits include: 

  1. Improved productivity and 
  2. Showcasing talent investment. 

There are many ways to build a culture of continual learning, such as funding MBA programs, creating training programs, or even starting a book club within the company. Doing this can show employees that the company cares about their education. Just as companies want their employees to be invested in their work and the company, employees want to feel the same from the company. Additionally, having education opportunities creates a more qualified workforce that will help both the company and the employee in the future. 

To further my education while working at Ohana, I recently read Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Knight shares the lessons he learned while traveling, starting a business, and living life, but three main ideas stuck out to me: 

  1. Thinking inside the box is a good thing, 
  2. There will always be a “there”, and 
  3. Good things take time and luck. 

Thinking Inside The Box 

Since we were young, we have been told to “think outside the box” when it comes to being creative. Knight encourages readers to think inside the box instead. He used the constraints of the box he was in to get creative in touch situations. 

There will Always be a “There” 

Nike’s famous “Just Do It” slogan directly aligns with Knight’s mentality when climbing Mount Fuji in Japan. Knight tells readers to keep going and not to stop. He encourages people to not stop until they get “there” and to not think too hard about where “there” is. To me, this means that there is only one way to get to whatever “there” is. This is important because it encourages us to learn from our past. We are going to make mistakes, and that’s okay, because that is all part of our way of getting “there”. While you may not know exactly how, sometimes you just have to do it. On the other hand, there are so many ways to fail and not get “there”. No matter what hurdles come in your way, you have to persevere and just do it. 

Good Things Take Time and Luck 

A final takeaway from Phil Knight is that it takes time to build. No matter how much you prepare, things can and will go wrong- especially when it comes to business. But when things go wrong, there is always a hidden lesson. Entrepreneurs need to take time to learn from those lessons. Each lesson is a building block to a successful idea. 

However, Knight admits that “hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome” (Shoe Dog, Knight). However, Knight reassures us readers “the harder you work, the better your luck” (Shoe Dog, Knight). As much as he would like to credit his work to his ethic, he understands that luck plays a huge role in his success. 

If you get one thing from this blog, it should be this- companies should not only encourage but invest in employees’ continuous education to promote a more engaged workforce. After all, a more engaged workforce is more productive, more profitable, and more likely to stay with the company. Books are great educators, but get creative to meet the education needs of your employees!