No One Knows Everything

We’re fortunate to have lots of friends with expertise in one area or another—finances, nutrition, genealogy, kinesiology, computer technology, woodworking, photography, social media, and more. It really helps when we need to tackle a project, deal with a minor injury, fix a technical problem, or make a major purchase! Our friend Geoff, a business expert who helps CEOs improve the performance of their small to mid-size companies, sent me a great article this week, called No Leader Is a Master of Everything. It describes a common dilemma, to which perhaps you can relate. I’ll summarize its premise:

As an experienced CEO or business leader, you are often expected to make decisions and produce results in areas where you have little knowledge or experience. Of course, it’s unreasonable to expect that any one person can be well prepared for every situation, but because of your position, you may be unable or unwilling to admit you don’t know all the answers.

This unreasonable expectation to be all-sufficient may pressure you into not doing your due diligence and making a bad decision. Unfortunately, one poor decision often snowballs into another, making a bad situation worse.

What’s the answer to this dilemma? When you’re faced with a decision that lies outside your area of expertise, it’s okay to ask for help! It’s smarter to get help from someone whose experience and expertise can add value to you and your company than to leap into an uninformed decision that will cost you later.

In Geoff’s case, his focus is to help CEOs strategize to grow their business to the next level. At Amtec, we provide professional technical recruiting help because we know not every company has a proficient hiring system in place. And we’ve learned from our 54 years in the staffing business that one hiring mistake can truly create other, more costly problems, making a bad situation worse.

So, if you’re faced with a decision that’s not in your area of expertise, says No Leader Is Master of Everything, be proactive and get advice from someone who knows more than you do using 3 steps:

1) Realize that no one knows everything. As a leader, it’s okay to admit you don’t have all the answers, then look for the information you need to make a great decision.

2) Talk to the appropriate expert to get advice for your specific challenges and requirements. Bringing other seasoned experts into the conversation doesn’t diminish your leadership—it shows your strength and enhances your ability to make profitable decisions.

3) Recognize that you’re not perfect and will occasionally make mistakes. However, to minimize mistakes, when you are under pressure to make a decision, avoid reacting out of emotion. Instead, move forward based on facts, logic, and input from experts who have already had to make the kind of decision you currently face.

Want to be more intentional in your decision-making? Learn how to apply the Pareto Principle.

References to article No Leader Is a Master of Everything from CEO Advisor Newsletter, Geoff Thompson can be reached at

By Marcianne Kuethen

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