“The moment you think of yourself as great, your slide toward mediocrity will have already begun,” Jim Collins.
“Wisest is he who knows what he doesn’t know.” Plato
I read these quotes the other day and I really like them both. I think mainly because it is an interesting time for my career as for the last year I’ve been put in new situations almost every day. As such, this can leads to time to insecurity and confusion. I guess I’ve moved out of my work “teenage” years where I knew it all and thought I was smarter than my bosses. That’s definitely not even close to being true these days.
When you are put in these new situations, it is tricky on how to play it.
Do you pretend you know what you are doing when you don’t? Fake it until you make it.
Do you admit your insecurity and confess your inexperience in the task at hand?
Or do you try for somewhere in the middle? Act confidently but still ask questions?
In life, you are constantly trying and learning new things. I think it is important in how you approach learning new things. Nobody likes the person who is complete insecure and reminds you on how bad they are at the task at hand. However, the opposite is just as bad – the person who thinks they are a genius and have everything figured out even though they have never attempted the task at hand.
Lately, I’ve been trying a middle road. Acting confidently at the task at hand. However, I also try to find the experts of the task and get their advice on the side. A little flattery, curiosity, and (sometimes) chocolate can go along way. And I notice I can usually figure out the task and am ready the second time around.
As one of my mentors said when I was discussing this year, “X has 25 years of experience working on Y. Really, that is one year of experience repeated 24 times. You’ll have just as much knowledge about Y in one year.” I’m just trying to get one year of experience on a lot of new areas.
How do you handle new tasks at hand? How do you deal with the arrogant, the confident, and insecure?