The 5 Powers of Experience. Do You Have Them?

You’re a novice every time you do something you’ve never done before.

Overconfidence is the painful pitfall of gullible inexperience. Pain awaits when you feel like you know but you don’t.

Experienced novices – people with a track record – know how to learn.

4 dangers of inexperience:

  1. Misled easily. Inexperience is blinded by unverified optimism. First-time investors get starry-eyed, for example.
  2. Decide quickly. Inexperience – unaware of potential pitfalls – blissfully moves forward. Naiveté believes the path forward is easy when it’s hard.
  3. Puff up naturally. Inexperienced novices haven’t learned that humility applies most when you succeed.
  4. Feel jealousy instinctively. “Why did she get promoted when I’m more qualified?” The blindness of jealousy prolongs ignorance and magnifies agony.

The danger for experienced novices is the false belief that skill in one area automatically transfers to other areas.

The perception of skill prevents development.

5 powers of experience:

  1. Healthy caution. Weathered captains feel a little uneasy when seas are calm. Painful past mistakes create healthy caution.
  2. Not knowing. Grey-hairs wonder about what they don’t know. Experienced leaders know that learning begins with not knowing. Confident ignorance is painful.
  3. Thick skin. Seasoned leaders understand that inexperience doesn’t understand. People judge you out of ignorance.
  4. Steady progress. A wrinkly brow knows reckless action hurts, and short-cuts are dead-ends.
  5. Respect for decisions. Toddlers don’t grasp the implications of pulling on tablecloths.

The power of experience is independent thought in the face of multiple options.

Quiet reflection is the source of independent thought.

5 questions that enable independent thought:

  1. What don’t I know?
  2. What’s important to know?
  3. Who has experience? (Most experienced people love to share their knowledge.)
  4. What might go wrong?
  5. Who might be impacted by this decision?

In a turbulent world, experience is a foundation for learning.

What has experience taught you?

Which of the 5 powers of experience seem most relevant to you?