Admitting you don’t know is not admitting weakness

As leaders, it can be difficult to admit when we don’t know something.

Somewhere, it became truth that a leader must know everything about everything.

What a fallacy.

Still, there is a pressure that we as leaders need to have everything figured out, that we cannot question something, or that we cannot seek clarifying information.

If your team regards you as the innovator, always on the cutting edge, or the ultimate expert: change your culture. If you are the pin holding on the wheel, you’ve made yourself irreplaceable. Not only that, but if you are the “go to”, you’ve also made yourself the single failure point for the entire project or company.

How quickly being the expert and “knowing everything” cascades into systematic weakness.

This week, take inventory of the process that puts you in the middle. Look around to see where your team can step in and make the difficult choices. Admit that you do not know everything (nor should you) and delegate decisions.

You’ve (hopefully) surrounded yourself with a team of subject matter experts, give them the freedom to exercise their expertise.

All the best,

-Shaun

P.S. If the buck stops with you, and you are asked something you don’t know the answer to, consider responding with, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” Powerful stuff.


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