Creative Leadership

You Should Be An Expert At What You Don’t Know

I had a conversation recently with Erwin McManus about my book, “One Big Thing.” We joked about Erwin’s “one big thing” because he’s a very driven person. He’s a pastor, an author, a filmmaker, a designer, and much more, including being a terrific speaker. But even in spite of that, my take is that Erwin’s one big thing is helping people embrace their God-given creativity. If you’ve ever heard him speak, you walk away not only spiritually energized, but you feel like you’ve tapped into the artist inside you.

But Erwin also made a profound statement. He said, “The truth is, I’m an expert at what I don’t know.”  He was partially joking, but the statement revealed his incredible thirst to know more. He’s a very driven learner, and as a result, his creative drive is revealed in his books, films, preaching, teaching, and his designs.

Far too many today are convinced they know all they need. They’re not reading the books, watching the films, having the conversations, or traveling to the places that will feed their intelligence or creativity. They’re overconfident when they should be asking more questions.

I’m with Erwin. I want to be an expert at what I don’t know. There’s far too much out there to be complacent and think I’ve arrived.

It’s a fascinating journey. Care to join us?

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  1. Great quote! Though I don’t always agree with the philosopher Socrates, Erwin’s statement about being aware of that which he doesn’t know is a classic example of Socratic self-consciousness. Leaders are learners. And if a leader doesn’t know or can’t know something, they find someone who does.

  2. Yeah I get that. Yet so much of our society is driven toward being the “expert” and teaching our “expertise” to others.. Teach others, yes… But never stop being the learner. I would much rather learn together than pretend that I am the expert… That is the basis of discipleship as well…

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