A little information is a dangerous thing.

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A little information is a dangerous thing.

All entrepreneurs, managers, or business leaders have an area of expertise where they excel and a cursory bit of knowledge of the business areas. Many of these leaders believe that this little bit of knowledge gives them a firm grasp of all the subtleties and sub-concepts in those areas, and they try to do everything themselves; this is probably the worst thing they can do.

Regardless of one’s background or experience, it’s impossible to know everything about all business functions. When someone thinks they know everything and act on that belief, they’re most likely to make mistakes, costing themselves and their companies time and money.

A “know everything” attitude may result in:

  • Getting it wrong.
  • Alienate others who likely know better.
  • Blocking the opportunity to learn and grow from listening and applying the knowledge of others.
  • Wasting the talent in an organization.
  • A myopic view and missing out on a better way of doing things.
  • Low return on investment.
  • Lost revenue and lower profits.
  • Business failure.

Entrepreneurs, managers, or business leaders don’t know everything, not because they’re not smart or don’t have enough experience, but because all business functions are complicated with many nuances that are changing faster than anyone can keep up with.

Even the most senior people at some of the largest companies employ external consultants and advisors and listen to their staff to avoid the pitfalls of thinking that they can do it all.