I believe when it comes to doing something as outrageous as writing a book – we’re waiting for someone to say, “It’s okay, you can do it. You have my permission.” But the is truth no one gives us permission. There’s no Queen Elizabeth who’s going to tap you on both shoulders and say, “I now proclaim you expert of _____________.” and then you’re magically it and everyone automatically accepts you as as the expert of ______________.”
Life doesn’t work that way. We have to claim it for ourselves. A leader is someone who goes first. What that means is that when you claim it, when you say that, “I am an expert” or “I deserve this” then other people begin to say, “Oh, okay.” It doesn’t start with you hoping and wishing they they will come up with the idea that you’re an expert or you deserve a certain amount of money for your expertise. It starts with you.
This leads in perfectly to the Paradox of Learning…
Let’s say you decide you want to learn something new – how to buy and own a restaurant, for example. But you don’t really know much about the restaurant business yet. Let’s say everything you know about restaurant ownership is about the size of grape. And everything you don’t know about restaurant ownership is touching the outside of the grape.
So you read a book on what it takes to own a restaurant. And now everything you know about restaurant management is about the size of a lemon.
But you still don’t feel like you know quite enough so you go and read two more books on restaurant ownership. Now everything you know about restaurant ownership is about the size of an orange. And everything you don’t know about restaurant ownership is touching the outside of the orange. However, you still don’t feel like you’re ready to sign on the dotted line and buy a restaurant yet.
So you do more to learn about this subject. Now you take a seminar on restaurant ownership. What happens? Well everything you now know about restaurant ownership is about the size of a grapefruit. And, that means everything you don’t know about restaurant management has expanded too – because it’s the size of a grapefruit, too.
Next you get a job bussing tables at a restaurant. And everything you know about restaurant ownership expands to the size of a coconut. However, everything you don’t know about restaurant ownership has expanded too – because it’s touching the outside of the coconut, remember?
You know enough when you know that you don’t know everything – but you’re willing to step out courageously and take action anyway – despite your fear that you probably still don’t know enough.
That’s courage and confidence in action. That’s true leadership.