Below are three uncomfortable stages – and a fourth one that’s fun.
- Unconscious Incompetence: You’ve never ridden a bicycle and have no idea what you need to know about it.
- Conscious Incompetence: You ride the bike and fall. Now you know that you are incompetent at keeping your balance. You know that you don’t know how. Not fun, but the perfect time to get back on the bike (or horse, or computer, or project, or team).
- Conscious Competence: You ride the bicycle all the way down the street and back — a bit jittery, but without falling. You grow, you know, and it shows. Yippee!
- Unconscious Competence: You ride for blocks while visiting with your friend, who is riding next to you. And you don’t even think about balancing on two wheels, while pedaling along at 10-15 miles an hour, and avoiding potholes. You just want to hear the rest of your friend’s story, and, tell the other part about it that only you know.
Once you get to stage four it’s time to find a skateboard or a snowboard or a new project or challenge and start your leadership discomfort all over again.