If you are in a leadership position having the answer has always been the baseline expectation, right? It seems like the go-to position. I read something recently suggesting that great leaders know the right questions to ask. Does that mean they don’t have the answers? Maybe. The message I get when someone takes that approach is that they are willing to help their colleague figure out the answer.
What it also tells me is that the person is not afraid to admit they don’t know something.
Is that ok?
I had dinner with a friend recently who I haven’t seen in ages. It had been six months or so and even longer since we sat down to chat together. My friend is someone I have had in my life since my childhood and even though we don’t see each other very often we certainly know each other very well.
We were chatting about how his two boys have grown into very inquisitive teenagers but still haven’t lost the notion that their dad is the all knowing being. We don’t have children but I am sure if you do that you can relate to dad being that guy who has all the answers, right?
My friend is also a leadership professional. Maybe not so much so but he does run a company, has employees and is in a position where people rely on him daily.
The funny thing is how he approaches his boys’ questions these days.
He normally says he doesn’t know.
We were laughing about how he now tells them to Google the answers, bring him 3 or 4 sources to corroborate the answer and then spends a bit of time chatting about the ideas with them. Hilarious! He told me that he has learned so much more about his kids doing this than he ever would have giving them the answers and on top of that has learned about things he may have never considered himself.
Is that ok?
That brings us to today’s quote.
If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.
When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity.
To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300° C.
The Russians use a pencil.
Have a great Monday and an awesome week.
If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.