I knew I was in trouble when I made a statement, in a meeting, that I had no doubt to be perfectly crafted and assuredly true. There was a flash that lit up in my peripheral vision that had happened, and been ignored, a dozen times in the last week: A warning that I wasn’t heeding like high blood pressure.
I had become an expert again. The “Hi my name is Bob and I am an expert” kind of expert. I was certain about everything, sure about my direction, completely confidence in my advise, remarkable in my coaching, and unbelievable in my consulting. I was the pearl in my own oyster – perfect.
Of course, none of that was real. Perception had trapped me again. I have been recovering from the curse of expertitis for 25 years but this bout seemed deeper and I was actually enjoying the spotlight even more than usual.
When I spend time with children, my grandkids in particular, I am reminded what the as yet unimagined has to offer. They zealously seek new ways of overcoming challenges. They embraced curiousity through sincere and outrageous questions. There is a zeal for exploration and risk that comes from a different confidence than the expert. They are confident that the world is theirs to explore and by turning everything on its head, they see the world anew. My confidence was based in formulas, models, tried and true experiences, status quo. In today’s world where everything is changing, exponentially, we all need to find the child’s position for a few hours a week. This isn’t just a provocation exercise, it serves as an innovation platform. You can launch your next ‘cool’ idea and watch it soar or sink without fear.
Take 4 hours this week (4/168 = 2.38%) to be open to curiousity, search out mystery and take something that you are so confident about and give it a good shake. I, for one, would be curious what flies out.