Leaders know what they know;
Fools don't know what they don't know.
Which are you?
This notion comes from an old Chinese proverb that states:
“He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool...shun him.Where are you on that spectrum? Let me break these down with examples.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not is willing...teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep...awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is wise...follow him.”
"Don't know what you don't know": Amy is a leader by title only. She walks around controlling her "kingdom" with a name badge, a clipboard and a walkie-talkie. More than likely, her team members don't feel valued and thus their performance is poor.
"Don't know, but know that you don't know": Sam is hungry to grow. He always has a book in his hand and asks lots of questions. He soaks up everything "leadership" he can put his hands on. He consistently meets with a like-minded leaders to network and share ideas.
"You know your stuff, but you just don't know you know your stuff": Jill seems to be in a key position to influence several key people. To her, it's just helping people grow in their leadership. She sees it as adding value. She's just a nice gal who likes to help her co-workers succeed in their tasks.
"You know your stuff and you know how to leverage it for success": Bob is a leader and people gladly follow him. He expresses his appreciation for them and their contribution to the team. He knows that leadership is positioning team members for success because if they are successful, the team will be successful. Bob leverages his leadership knowledge in a way that helps his team succeed.
Surely you've determined where you land on this scale. Hopefully, you're not making excuses or worse, blaming someone else. Stop it!
Better yet, own it! Don't blame someone else for your lack of success as a leader. You are responsible for You! Figure out where you are and start taking steps to move ahead and grow. If you are not sure, the ask someone. Ask me if you like. Use the "Contact Me" link on the right.
What are YOU going to do to grow in your leadership? Who will you reach out to for suggestions and accountability?
Photo credit: http://rainbows.typepad.com/blog/2012/03/the-constant-peril-of-slipping-backward-leadership-deliberate-focus-training-arceil-thomas-lee.html