Humility: The Cure for a Know-It-All

No one likes a know-it-all.

They’ve annoyed us all by talking down to us about anything and everything, even when it’s obvious they know far less than they believe. But know-it-alls don’t just ruin watercooler gatherings and dinner parties. When they rise to positions of power, they can wear away at productivity and trigger costly mistakes.

Joann S. Lublin wrote an entertaining article on the subject in the Wall Street Journal. She interviewed a number of self-professed former know-it-alls that caused major problems for themselves and their companies, such as losing over $2 million on a home purchase, hiring an unsuitable job candidate, and not asking subordinates for their input.

The know-it-all causes all kinds of professional headaches. They don’t try to learn about an issue or ask for help, which leads to poor decisions. They ignore some people or are condescending to others, which leads to a toxic work environment. They project a false aura of power and knowledgeability, which gets them promoted into jobs they might not actually be able to perform.

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‘Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential’

The war for talent is more fierce than ever, and there is a growing belief that the people who have the highest potential are also your most agile learners. However, defining learning agility, and determining who has more of it, has remained a challenge until recently. The new book, Learning Agility: The Key to Leader Potential, authored by David Hoff, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Leadership Development at EASI Consult, and W. Warner Burke, Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and developer of the Burke Learning Agility Inventory™ (Burke LAI), effectively defines learning agility, and explains how to measure and apply it in organizational settings. “Learning agility is one of the hottest topics in talent management and leadership development today,” says Allan Church, PepsiCo Senior Vice President of Global Talent Assessment & Development. “Hoff and Burke’s book on the topic provides a new framework and way of thinking about the construct that is just what the good doctor ordered. Whatever your interest in learning agility, this is a must-have resource and represents a leap forward for the field.” Read More »

Emergence versus Effectiveness

There is an old adage that cream always rises to the top. In talent management, that means people who are fit to lead an organization will rise to the corner office on their own. Although many organizations operate this way, the truth is that the best leaders rarely end up in the corner office, which is probably why half of new leaders fail. Failed leaders can cause big problems. Leaders should drive employee engagement, yet only 30% of employees are engaged, costing the U.S. economy $550 billion a year in productivity loss. Moreover, a large global survey of employee attitudes toward management suggests that a whopping 82% of people don’t trust their boss, and over 50% of employees quit their job because of their managers. Read More »

5 Ways to Manage Creativity and Drive Innovation

In a society that craves novelty and new technology, staying on the cutting edge is paramount to an organization’s survival. What better way to stay one step ahead in the product line than to have a strong creative team tinkering away behind the scenes. Read More »