Since When Are CEOs Humble and Learners?

You’re the CEO, so you think you know more about the business than anyone and for the things you don’t know – you’ll figure it out along the way. After all, you’ve got a business to run, so you have to move quickly and aggressively. Not quite actually. it is a blessing to acknowledge when you come across something you don’t know, not a curse.

“Embrace the power of learning and humility.” 

Not Knowing is a Blessing

One of the most important lessons I learned at my company was that it is a blessing to acknowledge when you come across something you don’t know, not a curse. When you first start, you think if you don’t know something or the company can’t do something, it is a flaw. It’s quite the contrary. It’s critical that you understand, recognize, acknowledge and embrace your flaws and the company’s shortcomings. This is counterintuitive. Entrepreneurs are driven, intelligent and confident. Not knowing something seems like a sign of weakness. It’s the opposite.

Humility is a trait of strong leaders—the type of leaders employees want to work for and investors want to fund. One of the most important days in the history of my company was when I realized being a CEO was a skill that needed to be developed with the same perseverance, ferocity and willingness to learn that athletes apply to their training. It was no different than ballet or working on your golf game. This is one of those skills that must be genuinely developed. Once you embrace this as an opportunity, it let air out of your balloon. You won’t be wasting time criticizing yourself for a lack of knowledge, instead, you will embrace the opportunity to learn and grow.

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