As leaders, they can be the three most powerful words you can say. Some may feel it shows weakness but I’m of the belief it shows tremendous strength. A job title doesn’t make you perfect. Do you think Richard Branson pretends he knows everything? Is it possible that Oprah Winfrey had some help along the way?
"I don’t know" can be tough to say when you are told to lead others. After all, the company believes in you enough to put you in the position to make these decisions but that doesn't mean you can't get things done, motivate your team, and create a more social business with openness.
The Human Org Chart
"I don’t know" to some, may appear indecisive. Some fear it may show investors the company is on shaky ground. But leaders who show they rely on their entire team for ideas and solutions can build a stronger foundation than those who get out the pom poms during good times and hide during challenges.
It’s clear that some feel they must appear infallible once gaining a leadership position but since the rest of the room knows it’s not the case, a pay stub every two weeks is hardly a strong enough strategy to keep your best people. Asking for feedback, opinions, and ideas strengthens your team.
You won't always know and that's the point.