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You’re the boss, so you have all the answers. Right? Yeah, not so much.

I sure try to show confidence in my leadership roles, but that only works up to a point. Inside, I feel a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. Occasionally even cluelessness.

You know what? The people I’m with know that too. They know that we’re all just doing the best we can – hopefully succeeding more than failing.

So if we’re all just making it up as we go along, why do we seek out confidence? Because it’s about our desire for control and stability. If I don’t feel in control, then I’ll seek out others who look like they are. Even though I know that’s partially an illusion.

How should leaders deal with this? The key is honesty.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get to the point where you’re honest with your people? Where you could say that you’re proceeding on the basis of partial data and educated guesses?

Yes, that opens up vulnerability. But it also creates trust that you’re telling people the real story, not hiding information.

What’s the next step you want to take on showing that kind of honesty?

We’ve all been learning things during our entire lives. That’s called experience, and it’s what helps you build valuable skills and teach others.

But wisdom is more subtle than just stuff you know.

It’s about putting choices into a larger context: namely, your values. And the values of the larger community you operate within.

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I was listening to a great conversation with Ed and Peter Schein recently. They threw out a powerful concept:

“Accountability and transparency are needed when you don’t have trust and openness.”

Since I’m a fan of both trust and transparency, this challenged my thinking. But I think they have a great point which is worth exploring.

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