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The Value of "I Don't Know"

Leaders are most helpful to their teams when they don't claim to have all the answers

What’s the most significant thing you learned in the last 10 days?

By “learning,” I don’t necessarily mean attending an educational event. Rather, what have you recently discovered that will aid you in leading your team? If you’re struggling with an answer, maybe the daily grind is stifling your ability to pay attention and notice things.

Noticing can lead to valuable insights, if you have the presence of mind to make it a daily habit. When you frame “learning” in this way, it can take many forms. You might discover a creative way to approach a vexing business problem if you resist the impulse to jump in with your ideas. Perhaps you will learn that a colleague is struggling with a project, or that one of your direct reports is especially upbeat because of a positive event in his personal life.

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