Eileen fisher is a super successful entrepreneur who has built a global fashion business using the philosophy of “ I don’t know”. She started knowing nothing about design, clothes, commercials, or retailing. At every step she simply asked everyone she came across “I don’t know” and asked them how to do it.

The I don’t know approach helped Eileen learn and become super successful. This approach brings humility and learning every day and encourages us to adopt a learning mindset. How can we become the “don’t know manager” –

1. Confidently say “I don’t know” in meetings – When you face a new topic or challenge, state confidently “ I don’t know how to do this, can you advise the best way ?” “What do you suggest is the best way to do this “

2. Let’s learn – When we see something not working or a challenging question facing us, lets confidently say “ since we don’t know how to do this, let us learn  – who can teach us ? where can we learn this ? “

3. Who knows – For every topic at work or in our personal lives, there is already someone who is an expert in that space. Lets go find them and read the books, blogs, articles they have written, the videos they have published or any knowledge available on the subject. Treat every subject like the search for a perfect recipe – someone somewhere is already cooking it. Let us find them. 

4. Re Train yourself – Every year ask yourself “what don’t I know that I must know in order to be successful”. This can be a technical skill, a new technology or tool, a new functional area that you need to master or a leadership skill you need to develop. Then build a plan to learn, master it and become an expert.

5. Who don’t I know – Every year ask yourself “ who don’t I know that I must know in order to be successful”. This can be senior leaders in your organisation, experts in your industry or headhunters who can help propel your career. Make the list, make a plan on connecting with them and go ahead and network.

Become the don’t know manager. Tell everyone “ since I don’t know, I focus on learning faster”.

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