One maxim that I share with team members here at InterLearn is that “you can tell clients that you don’t know.” That is, I want them to know that they don’t have to know it all.
According to some, the human knowledge base is currently doubling every 12 – 13 months. The expectation is that it will reach a 12 HOUR doubling state with the expansion of the Internet of Things (all the appliances connected to the internet). So, from a very practical perspective, it is an impossibility to know everything.
Before you stop reading as you think this is a point that you already know, stop and think about your personal practice. Everything from the way you delegate to the way you hire team members to the consultants you hire is affected by this conversation. You may practically recognize that you don’t know everything. However, unconsciously, there are areas where you think you know more than you really do. When you unconsciously think you know everything about something (or that you know better than others), it keeps you from delegating tasks that “someone else couldn’t possibly do as well.” It affects the team members that you fail to hire because they have abilities equal to or better than yours. It keeps you from hiring consultants who could 1) take some of the man hours that your team has to spend to accomplish work, 2) know how to do it better/have more expertise than you, and 3) save you money by doing it more efficiently and quickly than you could do it.
So, rather than feeling like you have to know it all, develop your vocational certainty around the concepts that you SHOULD know. Have the attitude that you are going to make you the best you that you can to support those who you lead on your team. Then keep learning and bringing in those that can support your learning.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. . .and then never give up on learning more and developing resources that help you know (including other people).