Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #25
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Mid-Winter melt off
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge. – Daniel J. Boorstin
Exploring is an innate part of being human. We’re all explorers when we’re born. Unfortunately, it seems to get drummed out of many of us as we get older, but it’s there, I think in all of us. And for me that moment of discovery is just so thrilling, on any level, that I think anybody that’s experienced it is pretty quickly addicted to it. – Edith Widder
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
Today it seems we’re too busy reacting to the latest event, headline, email or tweet. The answer increasingly is tit for tat, doing what we “know” as a conditioned habitual response. When an alternative view is raised, the reaction is to discredit and demand more vociferously for doing what we “know” is “the truth”.
Stuck doing what we “know”, we quickly lose the ability to explore what might be possible, what might work better, and how we might figure it out together.
It is an automatic human tendency to avoid uncertainty, and react based on our learned fear of social ridicule, reverting to what we "know". Exploring, as Edith Widder describes, can be drummed out of us. When we think we know, it is easy to have the illusion of knowledge and forgo the possibility of discovery.
It is the trap for every leader to have the illusion of knowledge, and be too busy or unwilling to listen to the insights of people in their team, organization, community or society. Real issues and creative solutions are left unshared due to the “knowing” of someone in charge. Left unresolved for too long, things can melt down.
When we open ourselves to exploring and seeing each situation with fresh eyes, we create the possibility for discoveries that elevate people and organizations everywhere.
- Where might you be stuck doing what you “know”?
- How do you explore and see each situation with fresh eyes?
- How do you engage everyone to listen to their insights?
I work with executives and professionals to get unstuck from reacting to the complex, volatile world around us, to creatively lead. Together we build trust, and cultivate leadership and organizational effectiveness to create a better future today. To learn more visit here.
Let’s create a better future today!