As most type-A personalities are, I’m a perfectionist.
Though this quality has fashioned me into a hardworking, determined individual, it’s not one that has always served me well. Namely, for fear of failure and marked incompetence, I’ve sometimes had a hard time admitting I don’t know something and accepting culpability for mistakes made. But, as John Hagel said, “Admitting you don’t know something is a prerequisite to making progress.”
It’s also surprisingly liberating. I’m not sure why or how, but at some point during my senior year of college, I realized my tendencies to feign knowledge and to avoid blame, and so I made a conscious decision to change. (Perhaps it was all that yoga…0 Without the burden of always having to be right, I became a whole lot happier. It’s still a difficult reality for me to live in, for my default is to strive for perfection, but it’s one I’m actively trying to embrace. In this ever evolving, digital world, progress and adaptation are key — and so it’s vital to ask questions instead of to assume answers.
Working in tandem with that, it’s also imperative to share the knowledge you do know, which is what the conference Handel is speaking at, the BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit, and 20/20 Productions’ DC Web Fest strive to accomplish. As Handel was so eloquently quoted in the TIME article, “The key lesson I got from the BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit,” Hagel says, “is that innovation is ultimately not about ideas, it is about personal connection.”