Solo Episode | One of My Key Mental Models: “Gaps in Judgment” on What Got You There with Sean DeLaney

Check out the What Got You There Podcast with Sean DeLaney Podcast Page

This is a solo episode with Sean DeLaney (@SeanDeLaney23) where he talks about gaps in judgment and how they affect the way we learn.

Key Takeaways

  • We ALL have gaps in judgment
  • Curiosity + Ego Deflation + Identifying Gaps in Judgement = Skill Acquisition
  • There is so much power in being able to say, “I don’t know”
  • “Explore your gaps and identify them. Drop the ego and ask, ‘Why?’ Have a dogged persistence in your pursuit and share your new knowledge with others.”Sean DeLaney

Setting the Stage

  • EVERYONE has gaps in judgment
    • The problem: How can we become better at identifying them and lessening the surface area from the unknown to the know?
  • “What you don’t know tends to be just as important as what you do know”Sean DeLaney

The Power of “I Don’t Know”

  • “Saying, ‘I don’t know,’ is one of the hardest things we can do”
    • Why? – Our egos never want to look wrong or seem stupid
  • But here’s the thing… every “I don’t know” is the start of learning something new and the root of all curiosity
    • “Imagine the astronauts and scientists at NASA before we landed on the moon. Do you think they were just sitting around saying they know it all? NO! They were being curious and saying, ‘Imagine what if?'” — Sean DeLaney

The Formula for Skill Acquisition

  • Curiosity + Ego Deflation + Identifying Gaps in Judgement = Skill Acquisition
  • “When we’re too consumed with protecting our ego, we miss out on the beauty of our ability to wonder” —Sean DeLaney
  • Very often these gaps in judgment are right in front of us, behind a thin little curtain
    • Until someone removes that curtain… until a person is willing to accept that they don’t know…. they’ll never be able to discover what they’re capable of

How Gaps in Judgment Affect a Company Culture

  • Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, has famously said, “Starting a company is like throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down”
  • If a CEO is unable or unwilling to identify their gaps in judgment, they end up sticking to what they know are the easy fixes
    • This has a trickle-down effect – employees aren’t encouraged to explore their own gaps in judgment, thus facilitating a fixed mindset and a bunch of non-creative machines
      • “That would be great for an employee in the Ford factory in the 1930s, but it’s the opposite of what it takes to succeed in the current world. It’s the people who identify their gaps in judgment who create impact, lead, and learn.” —Sean DeLaney

Bringing it All Together

  • Be willing to say “I don’t know,” be willing to experiment and fail, be willing to pursue until you do understand
  • “We’re here today because of the big questions that have been asked in the past. Image what it would be like in 300 years if people weren’t asking those hard questions and identifying those gaps?” Without questioning, advancement is stagnant.” —Sean DeLaney
  • “Explore your gaps and identify them. Drop the ego and ask, ‘Why?’ Have a dogged persistence in your pursuit and share your new knowledge with others.”Sean DeLaney
Bookmark