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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 93: Intellectual humility

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

Mark Twain, author of Huckleberry Finn

The world’s two greatest teachers on leadership – the near contemporaries Socrates in Greece and Confucius in China – were agreed on one thing: the need to distinguish clearly between what you know and what you don’t know. And, of course, that it is essential to avoid the arrogance of claiming to know something that you do not in fact know. In other words, stick to the truth.

To accept that one may have been wrong after a decision and to accept the consequences form one aspect of adhering to the truth.

To be open to others and their ideas before a decision means that you ...

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