5 Popular Examples of Unconscious Incompetence Among ‘Educated’ Individuals
One area in which a surprising lot of people show gross unconscious incompetence is LEADERSHIP. So learn about leadership as much as you can. As I explained in the interview I granted Bernard Avle on CitiFM, there are two main states of leadership: (i) Defacto Leadership (also termed as Unrecognised Leadership), and (ii) Positional Leadership (also termed Recognised Leadership). What’s interesting is that, even if you don’t see yourself as a leader because perhaps you don’t have a leadership title, or even perhaps you see yourself as young, you are still a leader, but a defacto leader (or unrecognised leader). Depending on how you perform (consciously or unconsciously) in your defacto leadership, you may be called into a position, and that’s where you become a positional leader (or recognised leader). Especially in your recognised leadership position, you necessarily start at a base level called ‘Position’ level where your influence / authority is merely by your rights as per the position or title you hold; so people follow you just because they have to, and not necessarily because they want to. At this level, morale and productivity among your people will be relatively low unless you use sound leadership principles, techniques and strategies to quickly advance to higher levels of leadership (very critical): from Position to Permission level, then to Production level, then to People Development level, and finally to Personhood. Unfortunately, owing to unconscious incompetence (the fact that people don’t know what they do not know) too many people remain at position level, and produce somewhat mediocre results. So you must either learn true leadership in order to grow your influence, or otherwise in order to prepare yourself so that should you be called into a positional role you will not be found wanting. Please note that I’m not talking about the 3 popular leadership styles: democratic, autocratic (authoritarian), and the laissez-faire, no; they are mediocre; each of them is like being half-leader and not a full-leader. What I’m talking about is a paradigm shift; I’m talking about true leadership; get to learn true leadership; I do a separate presentation on that.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is… ‘The ability to recognise and manage your emotions effectively, and also recognise and manage the emotions of other people positively.’ It involves being able to identify, use, understand, and manage all types of emotions in an effective and positive way.
People who are emotionally intelligent are likely to get hired (when looking for a job position) or otherwise get promoted faster (when already on a job) and if they are running their own businesses, they are likely to succeed exceptionally, and more easily. There seem to be a global consensus that IQ contributes to just about 20 percent of the factors that determine success in life, and that EQ (Emotional Quotient; another way of representing EI) accounts for the other 80 percent. In hundreds of studies, IQ has been found to be a very small factor when predicting success.
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A lot of people perform poorly in their academics just because they do not know / apply the right studying techniques. The catch is that, Reading is a popular learning method, but it is a lower method; so ordinarily, if you read something, you are likely to remember only 10 percent of it after 2 weeks. There are 12 methods in the series, and the higher methods of learning allows you to understand so well, and to remember over 90 percent; even after 2 weeks; so much more effective!
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Majority of people are not happy! There are three main degrees of Happiness in Life: the Highest level is The Meaningful Life, then we have the Good Life, and the lowest is The Pleasant Life. Research shows that, even though each individual born into this world has the inborn capability to pursue and live the Meaningful Life, majority of people pursue the Pleasant Life, and in some cases, the Good Life which are generally classified together as the bottom because their combined value does not compare anywhere near that of the Meaningful Life. And those who pursue and get to live the meaningful life are very few indeed. And mind you, you don’t stumble into the Meaningful Life; it is a deliberate path you choose with the guidance of Zing4Life!
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Of all the 7 pillars of culture, the one we defer to most is the school system, followed by religion. And as I earlier indicated, one of the most shocking discoveries during my research was Harvard University’s sad finding about Education that points to the fact that Formal Education is able to harness only up to 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. Indeed, what Harvard University noted was that, though aptitude is responsible for only 15 percent of success in life, and attitude accounts for 85 percent, 90 percent of the time and money spent on formal education is spent developing the aptitude, whereas only 10 percent of the time and finances is spent developing the attitude. Research done under the auspices of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and other institutions corroborates this. That is why you were probably not taught the subject of Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Wealth Creation, and even How to Study. And a lot of schools still do not teach those.
Even more surprisingly, the higher you go in formal education (schooling) the less you learn about a subject. In that way, “School teaches you more and more about less and less.” I need to explain this a little more so that it doesn’t get misconstrued; take it that you want to become a Psychologist, so first you go to the University for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, this will involve general principles in Psychology applicable to every sphere of human endeavour. When you decide to go higher, you will be required to narrow down to an area of interest, say Child Psychology, and study more about that in a Master’s Degree programme; essentially getting to know more in a much smaller part of the field of Psychology. When you decide to go higher still, you will be required to narrow down further to a smaller area of interest within Child Psychology, say Psychology of Children with Autism, and study more about that in a Doctorate Degree programme; essentially getting to know more in a much smaller part of the field of Psychology. It is therefore not surprising what the renowned economist, Prof. Sir, William Arthur Lewis, says about the mainstream educational system; he says that, “Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools are not always education, and the result may well be to reduce productive capacity rather than to increase it.” So “The great obstacle to progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge.” Illusion of knowledge is ‘Thinking that you know much, just because you have experience, certificates and / or titles, and thus despising complementary knowledge.’ We can therefore agree with Albert Einstein that: “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Unconscious incompetence puts restrictive boundaries around people, and limits their ability to get pleasing results; so Hosea (the prophet) says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Many people demonstrate gross unconscious incompetence when it comes to using the brain; through no fault of theirs though. When I say that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be, and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities, I mean 97 percent of people. Meaning if you take every 100 individuals at random, then with the exception of 3 of them, all of the people will be underestimating themselves, and will thus be using very little (far less than 10 percent) of their true potential, especially their brain power.
I’m going to make a statement and chances are that you may find some difficulties with it, but don’t…
You are a genius; you are powerful beyond measure! Fundamentally, your brain and that of your people are not significantly different from the brains great achievers of the past had! Your brain is fundamentally the same type as the ones great achievers of today have!! And the same type as the ones great achievers of the future will have!!! And whatever they accomplished (or may accomplish), you have the inborn capabilities to accomplish same, similar, or even more! What follows from this fact is that, you personally have the inborn ability to learn to become whatever you choose, plan and execute to achieve whatever goals you choose, and / or work to earn whatever level of income/wealth you choose; likewise your people!
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we’re told that a master gave talents (or resources) to three of his servants; to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; and the scripture says: “to each according to his own ability.” Now, there is a counterpart parable in Luke 19:12-27: the master had 10 servants, and he gave each of them equal amount of resources: one mina each. In this account, the first one earned 10 minas, by doing business with the initial 1 mina; the second earned 5 minas, by doing business with the initial 1 mina. Eventually they were rewarded according to how productive they had been.
There are certain resources that God has given each one of us in equal measure. Can you name some? I will name two…
Time: Every person has 24 hours per day at his / her disposal
Brain power: Every person born into this world is a genius within; unless the brain is diseased.
Understand that “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not;” for you were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.
Indeed, you have the inborn ability / potential to start / develop a theory, company, product and / or service that will significantly improve / transform the lives of at least 1 billion people within 10 years. So clearly, chances are that you underestimate your capabilities, and may currently be using very little of your true / hidden potential abilities, especially your brain power; there is 97 out of 100 chances (97 percent probability).
Our brains are so powerful! But what is sad however, is that scientists estimate that most persons, during their lifetime, use their brains to achieve just about one-hundredth of 1 percent of what the brain is capable of achieving. In other words, if the brain is capable of achieving 10,000 marks what most people achieve with it is just 1 out of 10,000; please read that again. Note that, this is not the same as saying that, “People use just 1 percent of the brain in their lifetime;” no, that is not what is being suggested! The point being made here is that, even though we engage nearly the whole of the brain for tasks, what most people (not everyone) use that potential to achieve in their lifetime is so little! And that there is 97 out of 100 chances that you are personally using your brain power to accomplish very little compared to your true / hidden potential.
It’s like having one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world (like the Jaguar, or IBM’s Summit) and only using it as a clock to display the time! How does that feel?
is the green speck shown against the yellow cylinder; the yellow cylinder represents the comparative proportion of what you are likely to refuse to use your brain for: the books that will not be written, the businesses that will never be created, the theories that will remain unknown, the happiness, health and wealth that you may refuse to create, and so on!
I like to emphasise that all these are mainly about what one ordinarily ends up using the brain to achieve; as against what the brain was created to be capable of achieving.
So in a nutshell Unconscious Incompetence is “Not knowing what you don’t know, and still being fine while oblivious.” Especially, thinking that you know much, just because you have experience, certificates and / or titles, and thus despising complementary knowledge.
Truly, “Everybody has inner genius, but it is our perception (i.e.,our education) that prevents us from tapping into this inner genius.”
So what can you do to avoid this habit?
Thankfully, we are not in 1644. This is 2020; almost all the directions / guidance you need in order to become: Exceptionally Brilliant, Exceptionally Creative / Innovative, Exceptionally Productive / Wealthy, Exceptionally Healthy, Exceptionally Free / Happy, and so much more and thus live a truly fulfilling life are known, and already documented across all known disciplines.
They available in bookshops, libraries and powered by the ubiquitous internet; knowledge is everywhere! But you must set time aside to do continuous learning; high level achievers like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc are voracious readers. Indeed it is estimated that top level CEOs read about 50 books every year, besides news, articles, etc. I believe that no matter how busy your life is, you can set aside at least 5 minutes everyday to learn something new; especially knowledge / skills that will significantly improve your life. Indeed, the real purpose of formal education is to help you to cultivate the habit of continuous / daily learning, if you are not doing that I’m afraid that you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Also, you must budget some resources for it; it is recommended that a person’s budget for self education should exceed the budget for entertainment.
But how do you know the particular books or information to read; especially on the internet?
The areas listed immediately under the video above are worth exploring. But generally, to avoid unconscious incompetence, (i) surround yourself with very knowledgeable professionals and people with a great wealth of practical experience in their various fields of endeavour; consult them often, and (ii) follow self-help Authors and self-help Organisations. Read their books and articles, watch (or otherwise listen to) their interviews, attend their seminars, enroll in their courses, and so on.
Talking about seminars I highly recommend the Seers Empowerment Summit to you; it’s organized by my organisation, and all the presentations are geared at helping participants to harness the 78% potential that ordinarily formal education is unable to harness; based on Zing4Life! extensively researched; amazingly concise, logically structured, and extremely powerful!
A year before getting married, I relocated to a different part of town and joined a church in this new location. I then joined the youth fellowship and along the line got elected to lead the fellowship; I soon reckoned that I really needed to learn ‘Leadership’ otherwise it was going to be very difficult leading the highly heterogeneous group it was. So I headed to my favourite bookshop and got leadership books, and some general self-help books that caught my attention.
I read those books diligently, and that was the beginning of an unforgettable experience; It was as though I was receiving education afresh! I can boldly say that the education I received from reading those books was as valuable as the education I had received in my 6 years of University education, and in some cases even more valuable!
One of the most shocking discoveries (that actually marked a major turning point in my life and career) was Harvard University’s sad finding about Education that points to the fact that Formal Education is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life. In essence, education and schooling are not the same thing!
Why hadn’t anybody drawn our attention to this fact that formal education harnesses so little? And why hadn’t anybody drawn our attention to self-help books while in school (as part of our education) and emphasised their equal importance as the mainstream courses that we were being taught?
And if what the mainstream educational system teaches is able to harness up to only 22 percent of people’s true effectiveness and greatness in life, how can we harness theremaining 78 percent and get more people to be truly or fully effective and truly great?
Well, it was better late than never, so the book corners / sections became my favourite places in the supermarkets; there was a time I went to the supermarket supposedly to buy baby stuff for our little girl and I ended up buying books rather than some of the baby stuff I was there to buy; it was that crazy! Within a couple of years, I bought and read more than 100 self-help books (some of them I read over and over again) in addition to the Hebrew-Greek-enabled Bible. And the researching / learning has continued since; especially focusing on Human & Organisational Performance Improvement Techniques and Strategies. On the average I was sleeping for only 4 hours a day; it’s been that intensive!
I felt that my greatest contribution towards the development of humanity, especially Ghana (and Africa) was to share my findings; I was thus moved to collate the best and most effective principles, techniques and strategies that can harness the true / hidden potential of any individual (or group of individuals) no matter the person’s background and current circumstances. i.e. irrespective of a person’s age, gender, looks, financial resources, educational background, etc! I call that Zing4Life!
It took more than 7 years of intensive research and development on my part to collate those amazing principles, techniques and strategies that constitute Zing4Life! And I keep improving upon them, because I want Zing4Life! to be current and remain the best in the world; to date, I have covered more than 1,000 self-help volumes by way of books, articles, audios, videos, etc. just to keep Zing4Life! current, relevant and the best!
The lessons / principles from more than 1,000 volumes on Personal Development, Organisational Development, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership are also available via the Zing4Life! Manuals; in various formats including PDF, Audio, Video and Direct Coaching. The website address is zingforlife.com.
In addition to the books and seminars, I publish a lot of insightful articles on this Seers Community Blogging / Publishing website; the website address is: seersapp.com
This website puts a lot of power at your disposal; let me show you around briefly.
Within a short time of loading a special offer popup will show up.
Immediately you will notice a bold button that says ‘Report an Issue.’ If you know of any problem / issue that you feel that someone should do something about, you can click this button to prompt Seers. My organisation Seers trains people to creatively solve problems and will take it up.
From here you can also get access to some of my books; like The Purpose Compass. It may interest you to note that I wrote about the 4 habits I’m sharing with you in The Purpose Compass, and it has a whole lot more, like the 7 steps to a truly fulfilling life in Chapter 4. It has 5 Chapters in all.
I need to focus on the objectives of this presentation so I can’t say much about The Eagle in You, except to say that it is 3 times the size of The Purpose Compass so you can imagine the level of insights it contains. Do check it out too.
You can close the popup at anytime and return to the main menu and other elements of the homepage.
Click on the SeersVoice hashtag to see all manner of articles; like… ‘The Rising Buzz on Emotional Intelligence, How it Terribly Affects You, and 3 Impeccable Reasons Why You Should Be Concerned,’ and ‘The First and Most Amazing Seed Every Great Parent Sows into the Life of His / Her Child,‘ and many other goodies. Because it’s a community website, you can also publish your article or worthwhile thoughts on it.
You will notice that we have the main menu; the publications menu item will take you to a list of all the articles / publications on the website arranged into categories, and there is a button there to help you publish yours too, if you have.
The masterclass menu item will lead you to join our online masterclass discussions.
The Seers logo will always take you back to the homepage.
On phones and tablets the hamburger icon (boxed red in the following illustration) gives you the main menu; so on the homepage, and on the seersvoice screen. In any case, “Whatever you’re willing to become is defined by what you are willing to do.”