You are not an expert at everything. There, I said it! 🙂
You may have reached illustrious milestones in your career and life; perhaps you are so respected in your area of proficiency that you are sought out for your opinions and advice; it is even likely that you are widely-recognized as the expert in a certain subject; but, you are not, I repeat, you are not an expert at everything. Which further means that it’s okay to ask others for help! In fact, successful leaders appreciate and acknowledge this reality and usually go to great lengths to surround themselves with people with a variety of skills and capabilities who can assist them as needed.
Think of it this way. If you were asked to solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle with a blindfold on, you would probably balk at the task. But then, you’d quickly realize that the easiest way to accomplish this seemingly gargantuan undertaking would be to have someone at your side guiding you through the process. Suddenly the blindfold is no longer an obstacle! Asking for counsel and guidance from a trusted advisor on questions and issues outside your area of primary expertise is much the same. However, for this to happen, you must do two things. First, you must be willing to admit that you are not an expert in everything. Second, you must take proactive steps to find and build relationships with professionals who you can call upon for guidance and direction when the need arises.
Are you doing both these things? If not, what’s stopping you? Add your comments below.
As a leader, the fact is someone may question your proficiency and technical skills in the role you were hired. Working in large corporations these days is tough since there are so many technical changes by the time you have become an expert with certain applications then along comes an upgrade. Your abilities to not be be able to use certain applications and be tech savy as a leader would require improvements. Yes, no one is an expert and knows everything but there should be some knowledge. Is it okay to say, I don’t know but I would love to find out the answer.
Yes, I think it’s not only okay, but absolutely imperative that leaders be willing to say “I don’t know but I would love to find out the answer”. That’s willing to admit that you’re not an expert in everything! And then … these same leaders should already have relationships with professionals who they can call upon to get those answers!