#BlogElul Day 6: Know

Over on my other blog (EdibleTorah.com), I suggest that “I don’t know” is a powerful phrase with regard to personal growth.

I submit that it is equally powerful in the world of I.T.

We IT Pro’s make a big deal about knowning. Knowing all the commandline switches for all the commands on a Cisco router; knowing all the differences in all the versions of Windows from Windows 286 onward; knowing that more than 3 layers of containers will corrupt a CORBA database; knowing every episode of Star Trek TOS.

Whether the knowledge is pure ephemera or soberly relevant, we take pride in knowing, both in quantity and in quality.

But some of the most brilliant, gifted, and successful IT Pro’s I have known over my 27 years in the business have been the ones who willingly, even eagerly, admit “I don’t know”.

Which is usually followed by “…but I will find out and get back to you.”

When we are afraid to admit we don’t know, when we avoid those subjects in which our mastery is incomplete or when we obfuscate to make it appear we have the situation under control… when we do those things we miss out on an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the humility and curiosity that got us into I.T. in the first place.