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.
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.
Because maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but rest assured when the time is right for us to know, we will know.
Lead From Within: As heart-based leaders we need to let go of the expectation that life shows up a certain way, within the boundaries of what we already know. Take it as it comes – in hours, moments, years, in the known and especially in the unknown – and learn from it as much as you can.