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Leadership: What We Don’t Know We Don’t Know

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I believe that learning is stronger than knowledge, that perception is more potent than reality, that vision is more powerful than actuality.

I see learning taking place at three separate levels:

What we know we know.

What we know we don’t know.

What we don’t know we don’t know.

These three levels of learning, in our leadership fit together to create knowledge, perception, and vision.

Level One: What we know we know
You know you can lead with process and procedures and do a great job. You’re empowered and confident, and all that’s left is to fill in a few gaps here and there.

Level Two: What we know we don’t know
You don’t know how to connect beyond a certain point. You know you’re missing something, and you know it hinders you from being effective. You have some work to do to get where you want to be, but you can define the problem and identify the resources you need to solve it.

Level Three: What we don’t know we don’t know
You’re stuck. You know you need to move beyond what you’ve always done, but you’re clueless, and the only way out is through uncharted waters.

Learning and growth occur at all three levels, but the best leadership growth occurs when we break open Level Three, what we don’t know we don’t know.

As leaders, we struggle with the same challenges, frustrations, doubts, and setbacks as everyone else. But it’s important that we seek out opportunities and circumstances that guide us toward new vision and new realities.

At these times, we are called to experience beyond what we know. That’s why our willingness to be present in all levels are so important.

Commitment: Make a conscious commitment to be open.

Trust:  Trust that you are heading in the direction of new knowledge.

Curiosity: Allow yourself to experience the curiosity of not knowing.

Freedom: Consent to the freedom of  experience something new and unexpected.

[quote]As leaders, we need to have patience with ourselves and live with the idea that“What we don’t know we don’t know”[/quote]

Maybe if we learned what we need to know today. We might not understand its meaning. So acknowledge What we don’t know we don’t know.

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