‘Don’t Be A Know-It-All; Be A Learn-It-All’

If there’s one thing anyone can benefit from in life, it’s always thinking of yourself as a student. It’s okay if you don’t know something as long as you’re willing to learn it.

Photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media.

Over at Business Insider, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, talks about Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s best-selling book, Mindset, and how it has inspired him:

“I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children’s education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a ‘know-it-all’ and the other is a ‘learn-it-all,’ and the ‘learn-it-all’ always will do better than the other one even if the ‘know-it-all’ kid starts with much more innate capability… Going back to business: If that applies to boys and girls at school, I think it also applies to CEOs like me, and entire organisations, like Microsoft.”

The metaphor applies to everyone else too. Justin Bariso at Inc. then broke down Nadella’s quote into a simpler, more digestible piece of useful advice:

“Don’t be a know-it-all; be a learn-it-all.”

Acting like you know everything not only is obnoxious to others, but it also tricks yourself into thinking you don’t need to keep learning, and that can be detrimental to both your career and your personal growth. Always be hungry for knowledge, and always be willing to admit when you don’t know something. Know-it-alls can only get so far.

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