Are There Times When Ignorance Is Bliss For A Leader?

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013

Share this:

There’s been debate for some time (some say started by Lisa Simpson in a 2001 Simpson episode) that smart people are not as happy as those with lower intelligence. If Lisa is correct, then can we jump to the conclusion that ignorance is bliss?  Nobody knows. This hypothesis has yet to be tested. Even Freakonomics weighed in on this topic  and claims it would make for a great dissertation. Yet we see leaders using this strategy often in organizations.

Let’s take an example frequently discussed in the media:  CIOs being unaware that their departments are becoming less relevant to the rest of the business.

Consulting firms Gartner and Accenture have independently published reports showing the disconnect between CIOs and their  C-level colleagues.  Gartner research says half of surveyed business executives thought IT delivery needed to improve while only 10% of CIOs said they had a delivery problem. Some say that the rise of the job “Chief Digital Officer” is directly related to this dynamic. This position is filling the void created by an ‘ignorance is bliss’ belief system of many CIOs. According to The Economist, Gartner estimates that 5-6% of companies now have a Chief Digital Officer.

Is it better not to know what’s really going on in your department, in your organization? Better to stay above the fray and keep plugging along? It is really difficult to find a situation where problems just go away on their own. In the case of the CIO example, following a ‘ignorance is bliss’ policy will probably prove career-ending.

What’s a Smart Person To Do?

When a smart person (like you) becomes a leader or rises in the leadership ranks of your organization, there are times when you are on such a learning curve that you are clueless. Ignorance may be bliss — temporarily. But there are very few Forrest Gump successes in business. You will get quickly jolted to the uncomfortable place where you have to make a conscious decision to develop your Intellectual Health — deepen your curiosity,  broaden your adaptive mindset and use paradoxical thinking — or pretend there’s no problem or it doesn’t apply to you.

Inevitably in our technical workplaces, you are going to work with people who are smarter or know more than you. But Grounded leaders learn how to push themselves to develop. They see it as part of their job and critical to their success.  Ignorance is bliss is not a strategy any leader should bank on.

Avoiding Ignorance is Bliss

Make haste slowly. Hands down, learning is the best way to embrace change. You won’t feel confident or less anxious, until you develop your knowledge and skill as a leader. Learning doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a bit of time. Small steps lead to big changes.

How you think about things creates the framework for how you will respond. It’s the “is the glass half empty or half full?” dilemma. To move forward, to make changes, opting for optimism (the glass is half full) will make the journey easier.

Check that you don’t get caught in the activity trap where you feel compelled to take lots of action or create lots of activity so you feel like you are doing something but end up with little or no results.

Practice thinking in web-like ways, not in linear ways. Look for and identify multi-dimensional and multi-directional connections. Commit to developing your Intellectual Health.

How is your Intellectual Health?  Find out by taking the Healthy Leader Assessment.

Share this:


  1. irfbmz
    March 5, 2019

    levitra sk
    best online levitra

  2. zrrljl
    March 23, 2019

    viagra buy online
    viagra coupons

  3. Drsemen
    May 7, 2019

    Some people with HIV do not pretension symptoms until months or even years after contracting the virus. How in the world, ’round 80 percent of people may develop a gel of flu-like symptoms known as dangerous retroviral syndrome around 26 weeks after the virus enters the body. fever chills joint wretchedness muscle aches sore throat sweats. particularly at blackness enlarged glands a red audacious tiredness shortcoming unintentional onus breakdown thrush. These symptoms potency also upshot from the immune way fighting off diverse types of viruses. Degree, people who exposure several of these symptoms and know of any reason they dominion have been at gamble of contracting HIV during the mould 6 weeks should mimic a test. In varied cases, after the symptoms of excruciating retroviral syndrome, acheter cialis authority not hit for the treatment of sundry years, acheter cialis. During this time, the virus acheter cialis continues to reveal and source inoculated way and organ damage. Without medication that prevents the replication of the virus, this slow operation can persist in into an average of around 10 years. A person living with HIV frequently experiences no symptoms, feels stream, and appears healthy. Complying rigidly to a course of ASTUTENESS WILES can break in this phase and extinguish the virus completely. Engaging gear antiretroviral medications for way of life can close on-going expense to the inoculated system. Without medication, acheter cialis, HIV weakens the faculty to make infection.

    June 3, 2019

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about order Provigil online.

  5. MichaelJen
    June 4, 2019


  6. Aaronzex
    June 5, 2019 – buy atenolol

  7. BennyNague
    June 5, 2019


  8. Charlesdurne
    June 5, 2019


  9. Aaronzex
    June 5, 2019 – prednisone

  10. Aaronzex
    June 6, 2019 – prednisone10 mg

  11. Brettunsam
    June 6, 2019


  12. MichaelJen
    June 6, 2019


  13. BennyNague
    June 7, 2019


  14. Aaronzex
    June 7, 2019 – buy xenical

  15. Charlesdurne
    June 7, 2019


  16. Aaronzex
    June 7, 2019 – EFFEXOR

  17. Aaronzex
    June 7, 2019


  18. MichaelJen
    June 8, 2019


  19. Charlesdurne
    June 8, 2019

    buy zyban

  20. Dendurne
    June 8, 2019


  21. Aaronzex
    June 8, 2019 – tadalafil 20mg

  22. MichaelJen
    June 8, 2019


  23. Aaronzex
    June 9, 2019 – prednisolone

  24. BennyNague
    June 9, 2019


  25. MichaelJen
    June 9, 2019


  26. Brettunsam
    June 9, 2019


  27. Charlesdurne
    June 9, 2019


  28. Aaronzex
    June 9, 2019 – cialis

  29. MichaelJen
    June 10, 2019


  30. Kiadurne
    June 10, 2019


  31. Charlesdurne
    June 10, 2019


  32. Aaronzex
    June 10, 2019 – amoxil online prescriptions

  33. Dendurne
    June 10, 2019

    albenza cost

  34. BennyNague
    June 10, 2019


  35. Aaronzex
    June 11, 2019 – bonuses

  36. MichaelJen
    June 11, 2019


  37. Aaronzex
    June 11, 2019 – anafranil

  38. Dendurne
    June 11, 2019

    albenza cost

  39. Aaronzex
    June 12, 2019 – tofranil for anxiety

  40. Charlesdurne
    June 12, 2019


  41. Aaronzex
    June 13, 2019 – valtrex

  42. Dendurne
    June 13, 2019


  43. Aaronzex
    June 13, 2019 – citrate sildenafil

  44. Aaronzex
    June 14, 2019 – anafranil

  45. BennyNague
    June 14, 2019


  46. Kiadurne
    June 14, 2019


  47. Aaronzex
    June 15, 2019 – cialis

  48. MichaelJen
    June 15, 2019


  49. Aaronzex
    June 15, 2019 – moduretic

  50. Dendurne
    June 15, 2019


  51. BennyNague
    June 15, 2019

    for more

  52. MichaelJen
    June 16, 2019


  53. Aaronzex
    June 16, 2019 – indocin sr 75 mg

  54. Aaronzex
    June 16, 2019


  55. BennyNague
    June 16, 2019


  56. BennyNague
    June 16, 2019


  57. Aaronzex
    June 16, 2019 – where to buy propecia online

  58. Brettunsam
    June 17, 2019

    buy celebrex

  59. Charlesdurne
    June 17, 2019


Leave a Reply