As we go through life and especially as we grow a business we are bound to encounter situations and problems that we have never met before. It is inevitable. If we are scaling a business then by definition we are going places that we have never been before.
It is hardly your fault if you don’t know what to do or how to tackle the situation. Of course it helps if your education and development has helped you to be able to think through a problem rather than present you with situation specific solutions. I would argue that learning how to think is the best education of all and I often wonder in these days of intense focus on grades and attainment if we sometimes bypass helping others to think in favour of getting the required pass mark.
Having the correct answer, knowing the solutions and being right are luxuries that aren’t afforded to people in a faced paced, fast moving and ever-changing environment. As leadership author John Maxwell observed “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
Having the answers is in part about experience so don’t feel bad that on lots of occasions you don’t think you have those answers. It really isn’t your fault.
However the ability to ask, to consult, to be curious and to search is about our attitude to what we know and what we don’t know. Not knowing but being convinced that we do is a major error. It is part of the paradox of leadership that we need our leaders to be decisive, firm and committed while we also need them to be humble and vulnerable enough to admit what they do not know and what they are uncertain about.
That is why leading is such a challenge. It is a paradoxical set of skills that take time to learn and even longer to master. We may not be to blame for what we don’t know but we are to blame if we won’t learn. You cannot be a high performer if you don’t learn. You cannot be a high performer if you won’t learn.
As Tim Gallwey, author of ‘The Inner Game’ series of books, said “Life is a wonderful and unique learning experience. What is required is the belief that learning and performing are one and the same. High performers are people who simply learn faster.” What is your ‘learn faster’ strategy?
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