You are responsible for your own incompetence

Can’t speak a language? Can’t use MS Excel? Can’t tell if what you are wearing to work is appropriate? Can’t keep up with the latest tech trends? Well, while it might not be your fault, it certainly is your responsibility.

Not knowing is not an excuse

The only person in the room who should care that you do not know something is you. Owning up to this is powerful because it forces you to address the issue but also makes you play to your strengths. While you figure out the things you need to work on, you can rely on what you do best as well.

Do not expect anyone to give you a free pass just because you are you. Nobody should care but you, and you should do something about it.

Failure is part of the process

You have results to deliver but results are not instantly produced just by clicking on a button. The work process is what changes as you develop new skills and expertise and a big part of that is failing. Once you are aware of your weaknesses and start working on them you will make changes to your work process. Those changes will take time to render positive results and trial and error are the way to figure out how to achieve a better outcome. Make sure you do everything you can to fix a problem but know that it may still not be enough. If that is the case, ask for help and communicate with your team and superiors so they know which stage in the process you are at and what to expect from you.

Tell it like it is

If you have an employee who is struggling with something and drops the ‘I don’t know’ excuse, don’t let them get away with it. It is tough love and they need to get it. Explain to them that they can’t get a free pass on that task and that they will need to figure out how to make up for it while they learn what they need to learn, but also offer them the flexibility to allow them to make that transition: brainstorm ideas, suggest sources, etc. While fixing the problem is their responsibility, getting involved is yours.


Now read this

On being a productive boss

In some business fields, as you gain more responsibilities and influence, your job stops following a fixed pattern of processes and tasks and starts to focus on more abstract deliverables, such as strategy, team management motivation,... Continue →