Some of the most charismatic and persuasive people I have ever met have also been the ones who have been the most convinced that they had it all figured out and knew everything.
Until they didn’t.
I am not suggesting that they all failed. But a good number of them did. Because they thought they ‘knew’, ventured ahead without taking stock of what was going on around them – and ultimately hit a concrete wall.
Besides the pain of that particular experience, the most painful thing was that it could most likely have been avoided by adopting a very different approach.
A learning approach, if you will.
When you adapt a learning approach you are more humble.
You’re able to take more signals in.
You are more aware that you’re not directing the world, the world is directing your opportunities, and you adapt.
Adaption is key here. The world changes and you need to do that too in order to be forward looking.
‘Knowing it all’ is inherently backward looking. And not very useful when things fundamentally change.
When you learn and adapt, you are able to seize new opportunities and with that the odds of success increases.
Which again makes it pretty stupid to insist on being the one ‘knowing it all’, don’t you think?
When you try to affect change and solve a problem in a new way, you need them to be ready to give up how they have done things in the past. Or get them interested in forming a new habit.
For some things it’s easier than with others. If you’re just presenting a more efficient solution – aka a faster way of getting from A to B – it’s (all other things being equal) easier to facilitate this change than if you’re trying to create improvement for people, who have been used to ‘nothing’ being the norm before.
Turning those around is tantamount to start setting expectations in a space where none may currently exist. It is like going from 0 to something and foster some kind of accelleration from a point of standing completely still.
You may very well only get one – or best case a few – shots at making it happen; getting from stand still to some sort of motion in the right direction. But if you get there, you (by and far) have it made.
But getting past this initial barrier – get the engine started and movement commenced – is your biggest headache. How to make it happen? How to make sure it happens, if it doesn’t happen in an instance? And – to some extend – how to keep the engine on and the wheels in motion.
In these cases disruption of the status quo doesn’t happen somewhere down the line. It either happens straight from the bat or maybe not at all.
It’s actually quite scary. But at the same time hugely motivating.