Brilliance from Ignorance


You’ve spent days, maybe weeks, working on a new idea, a new pet project, a presentation to your boss. You’ve thought about this challenge from 16 different angles, and have covered all of your bases.

Then, 15 minutes into your presentation, your boss offers a perspective you hadn’t thought of. It’s smart. No, it’s brilliant. Why didn’t you think of that?

Does this mean your boss is smarter than you? Because she just came up with a better idea in 15 minutes, after you’d been thinking about it for weeks?

No, your boss isn’t smarter. Just ignorant. Really.

Your boss, at least in this instance, is benefiting from a fresh perspective. And you’re benefiting from her collective perspective and worldview, thinking about your challenge in a brand-new way.

Just because others don’t have the depth of perspective you have on a particular subject, doesn’t mean they won’t provide the best idea of the bunch.

Brilliance is often born of ignorance.