Recently, the conservative essayist, Jeff Jacoby, wrote a brief piece entitled “Nobody knows anything.” (Jacobi, 2022). He was commenting on the often-failed prophecies made at the start of 2021 about the upcoming year. Many mistakes were made by the prophets, pundits and experts of 2021 – perhaps more than is usually the case when seeking to predict and plan for the immediate future.
Yet, as Jacobi notes, we can’t just reject what these people of wisdom and integrity suggest. We just need to be cautious – and the experts need to be modest:
Experts know a great deal, and to listen courteously when they speak is only prudent. But is not prudent to imagine that they see farther into the future than most people . . . [T]his year and every year, take their words with a healthy dose of skepticism. And don’t forget [a noteworthy] Axiom: “Nobody knows anything.”
In this issue of The Future of Coaching, we continue our exploration of the crisis of expertise that resides squarely in this axiom: “nobody knows anything.” We focus on “blind spots.” How do we as professional coaches help leaders overcome ignorance, hubris, blind-spots and become more self aware? In our recent published issue of The Future of Coaching that began our investigation of “the crisis of expertise”, we described the concept of leadership hubris or over-confidence. We also note that many people – not just leaders – are often blatantly ignorant and unaware of their lack of knowledge on specific subjects, while (sometimes) vehemently advocating that they know a lot1K Club