Follow by Email

Friday, October 02, 2015

Root problem of mis-achievers: They do not know what they don't know

This has been a paradox for me. Despite brilliant credentials at the start of their life, why do some professionals fail to achieve enough in their lives.

I have found one very simple reason. They do not know what they don't know. They make assumptions and work on those assumptions, little knowing that they are barking at the wrong tree. They keep on searching for the key where the lamp is, instead of searching it where it is lost. 

Work life achievement 

For instance, in their work-life, most of the professionals do not know 'How to produce results in a current job'.  Please read these 3 steps which most of the professionals cannot take because they are completely ignorant. Not knowing what to do, they feel that they should produce the results asked by 'boss'. They develop the skills to 'appease' the boss, but they fail to develop other skills to achieve. 

Or unable to measure their organisation's readiness to implement what they want, they spend huge amount of efforts in launching big initiatives, but cannot implement them because their team or system is not ready.

Unable to produce results in a job, they sacrifice their 'long term achievement'.  They fail because they do not know what they do not know

Achieving Relationship results 

I see the same problem in work-relationships ( as well as in deep relationships with their friends and spouse)

For instance, take the example of boss-relationship. They get a difficult boss. They are unaware of the methods of dealing with the difficult boss. Instead, they make assumptions. They either become too stubborn, or become too compliant. When that does not work, they take a easy route: they resign. They move to a new employer, where the new boss is even more difficult. 

Or they presume that they must contribute their 'part' and leave the rest to others. These professionals prefer to play football and hope to score the goal based on their individual ability to attack. These professionals blame rest of the team for 'non-performance' and never learn to develop the skills to draw boundaries with other team members. Unable to build their reputation amongst the team members, they  fail to produce sustained results.

Once again, they sacrifice their long term achievement, because they do not use the opportunities to develop the requisite skills . They fail because they do not know what they do not know.   

What can you do?

I can give you many examples of this root problem. Professionals do not achieve because they do not know what they do not know. When they know what they do not know, they can at least learn it. Because of widespread ignorance, many consultants start blaming the professionals, saying that they lack willpower or Courage or Persistence. It is easy to blame the professional. But when the ignorance is so deep, what can one do? 

Only one person can help you: Your Mentor.  Because a mentor has gone on the same path ahead of you, he can point you to things that you do not know. And because you trust him, you will 'listen' to him even though you may not agree with him. Mentor will open your eyes to unknown questions and force you to think. A mentor may not know the answer of a problem, but a good mentor will help you ask the 'right question'. Asking the right question is the half-way to finding the answer. 

You may find it almost impossible to find a common pattern in the success of Achievers. But you will almost always find that every Achiever has had a Mentor at different stages of life. Sometimes the Mentor is a friend of father or Mother. Sometimes, a teacher or professor. Sometimes a senior professional in the same field, such as when start-up companies are mentored by a senior veteran. Sometimes , professional in the same path such as in the field of Music, Sports, or Dancing. Sometimes a distance relative in the family.

And once you find a mentor, even if that mentor is a well-wisher. you can 'define' the problem. After 'defining' the problem, you can find a 'coach' to help you out. Or find help from another 'mentor' in your work-area who can you help more specifically?


Do you have a mentor to help you see which is beyond your lens? 

Source of the image: Lesswrong.com