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Want A Successful Career? Embrace Your Ignorance

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So if I were 22 knowing what I now know, I would more fully embrace my ignorance.

  • I would be a curator of good questions. Too late, I learned the power of a good question – simple, direct and honest. Every good idea I’ve been around proceeded from a good question, asked honestly and directly. My own library of these is still too empty, and I wish I had started earlier to fill it.
  • I would ask questions of more people. My wife’s commencement address at Hofstra this year talks about “treating the world as your faculty.” So many people have shared insight, perspective and knowledge with me across the years, and yet I’m sure that I’ve missed the opportunity to learn from thousands more. Why – because I “knew,” or because I “knew they didn’t know.” I too quickly formed judgments about people and organizations based on pedigree or industry or perceived relevance, rather than listening hard for the relevant nugget at the center.