Here’s an Assumption for You

“It’s not that they’re stupid; it’s just that they’re ignorant.” __Steven B. Sample. The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership


Something I frequently share with friends, direct reports, and those I report to is: “Don’t assume I know anything!”

Oh have I learned this lesson the hard way!

Trust me, the longer you are at a place and the more you know about that place the more vulnerable you become to forgetting that there is almost always some vital nuance, back-story, and undercurrent that you are not aware of.

Not only do first impressions seldom ever give you all you need to know, all (!) impressions seldom give you all you need to know.

Humility is required!

Caution is required!

Patience is requried.

Ask one more question.

Ask for one more reference, one more idea, one more option.

You will never know everything you would like to know but it is always a safe assumption that you need to know a little more before making your next move.

Of course eventually you have to decide and move forward. But let the brave, bold angel decide to tread where most angels fear to tread.

As for you?

Do your homework, postpone your decision until it is absolutely required, and then give it your all.

And once you’ve jumped…don’t look back. No sense punishing yourself for things you could ‘ve, should ‘ve, and would ‘ve known.

The ONE THING for today: One of the safest assumptions you can take with you into every situation is that there are things – important things – that you do not know.

Don’t let this paralyze you, but do let it prompt you to slow down a bit…especially if what you’re doing is important (and here’s another assumption – always assume that what you’re doing is important.)

Photo by Glsun Mall on Unsplash

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