"We don’t know what we don’t know"
My second guest blogger is Andrew Parker, an Australian born, internationally experienced and now Singapore based leadership, executive and career coach, management consultant and trainer. A dry sense of humor, a great "ear" to listen with and powerful insights make him one of the group of coaches I rely on for my own coaching. You can connect with Andrew through LinkedIn or at www.wasabi-consulting.com. Over to you Andrew!
Before you ask, this blog post is not a reference to Donald Rumsfeld.
The first time a leader shared with me their view that “we don’t know what we don’t know” my first reaction was to nod in polite agreement and then think, yes, that’s obvious. The more I thought about it though the more I unpacked this statement and really understood the power of what was being asked. It dawned on me that there were two parts to what was being suggested:
1. It’s ok not to know something but it’s important to acknowledge what you don’t know
2. It’s not ok not to go out and find out more if you don’t know about something. If you want to (and need to) learn something then go out and find out about it. This is where the real business lesson lay for me in in this statement. Find best practices, ask people about their experiences, ask people to share with you what did and did not work, what would they do differently next time and ask what advice they would offer you.