March 23, 2016

The Power of Not Knowing

Can we get too smart?
Is there power in not knowing?

Liz Wiseman gave a great speech at BYU recently and talking about the power of not knowing.
Here is her speech, and my notes from it...

How do you lead? Are you a multiplier or a diminisher? Many leaders think they are great leaders, because they are good people with good intentions. But surprisingly many good leaders are blind in certain areas, especially by their knowledge, and the way they lead may actually diminish people in order to get a specific outcome of focus. So a good leader is aware of their strengths and weaknesses and pays attention to their intentions as well as the response of those they lead.

She sited the example of Magic Johnson, whose real name was Irving. He took a shot every time he had a ball, when he was younger. And he won great things for his team. But his success and talent was solo and based in ego and actually diminished others in that they didn't receive opportunities or get a chance to feel greater contribution and self-growth. So he made the choice to help every member of the team contribute. He helped build confidence in others...and got the nickname "magic" because he created an atmosphere that helped raise the level of happiness and excellence for the team.

So here is the chart distinguishing the difference between diminishers and multipliers...

Rookie Smarts...
She explains that those who are rookies at something actually can outperform others in innovation work because they ask better questions and don't assume to know everything. They also better gather and connect pieces others are aware of, due to passion for the challenge. So often we are at the best, when we know the very least.

When we step out of a place of knowing into a place of not knowing...we actually can better see God's hand and see light and personal direction more clearly. It is scary, but so invigorating at the same time. The fire of faith can burn more brightly. Faith is power. And it takes faith to step into the unknown and abandon old habits, practices, plateaus, etc. We don't see clearly until we unite our knowledge and our faith. The state of not knowing can be a path to better know God. We are so often at our best when we don't know because we better rely on God's knowledge to lead and guide us to our optimal happiness and satisfaction in life.

4 Ways to Live Powerfully in the Realm of Not Knowing
1. Ask Intelligent Questions. Start operating from a place of inquiry, rather than a place you feel you know everything about. Ask questions to drive recall of what others know...rather than making command and stifling knowledge-growth. Tell less, ask more.
2. Admit What You Don't Know. Holding back is a path of fear and also covers potential opportunities for growth, individually or as a team.
3. Throw Away Your Notes. If we really know something we won't need to have the notes. It's important to have fresh thinking, once you've gotten to a depth of knowledge in something.
4. Learn to See Genius in Others The top of the intelligence hierarchy is not the one with genius, but the one who is a genius-maker of others and helps others feel great and intelligent. Genius makers are the best learners and also perpetual rookies. And its the know-how they build, not the know-how they bring.

It's in seeking, not knowing, that we really find truth and discover God's true glory and intelligence. Seek wisdom  and intelligence--not knowledge in and of itself.

So what do you know?
Could you be in a plateau that is holding you back from reaching your potential?

And what is an area that you feel drawn to, but that you feel like a rookie in?
And is there an opportunity to take a challenge and more clearly see youth path and find God more deeply in your life and heart?

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