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Why are the ignorant, ignorant of their ignorance?

Years ago I realized that I didn't know what I didn't know. I was clueless about running a large business and it wasn't until I realized it, that my "learning" started!

I had been put into the role of COO of our family spice and nut business and then I came to realize that I was not in the spice and nut business, I was actually in the people business.

What do I mean by the people business?

Let me share with you my experience with many businesses.

Most business owners that I come across these days are struggling with multiple issues. For many it's talent, for some it's partners, for those in family business it's the family, etc. One business owner shared with me that they flushed a million dollars down the drain because they had no clue how to read a financial statement.

A family business I know had to go to court to find out what one member was doing with the finances...

Most business owners start and run their business with certain expertise. i.e. real estate, Amazon, etc. They understand that they need to be very competent in their knowledge in order to succeed.

However as the business grows they need to learn new skillsets and at each level there are new things they have to learn. Sometimes they have to learn, unlearn and relearn!

The model they must go through is called:

The Hierarchy of Competence-

1. Unconscious Incompetence….Wrong Intuition

2. Conscious Incompetence...Wrong Analysis

3. Conscious Competence...Right Analysis

4. Unconscious Competence...Right Intuition

My mentor, Roy Camarrano says that as the entrepreneur build their company they need to build his or her's leadership skills and empower the team to run the day too day. Or as Michael Gerber in eMyth says, you need to work more on the business than in the business.

Instead the entrepreneur gets entrenched in running (parts of) their business and as it becomes more demanding they "abdicate" or wha I call "sink or swim", the other departments, they can't handle, to others . It usually doesn't work out.