Not knowing what to do can be an incredibly painful place to be, said Peter Bregman, a strategic advisor to CEO and their leadership teams. Bregman recalled a time as course director at Outward Bound when the activities he planned for 150 eighth graders failed miserably. He gathered his team of instructors and told them he didn’t know what to do. The instructors then started coming up with ideas on the fly. “That is the other side of ‘I don’t know,’” Bregman said. “The one side of it is that it’s incredibly scary and vulnerable. The other side of it is that every creative idea comes out of that room of ‘I don’t know.’” Research of one of Bregman’s clients sought to find what separates great leaders from mediocre leaders. The leaders themselves gave answers such as clear vision, ability to influence. The employees unanimously answered, “People who ask for help.”

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