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Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen
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Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  231 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"In Know What You Don't Know, best-selling author Michael Roberto shows leaders how to go beyond mere "problem solving" to uncover and address emerging problems while they're still manageable - before they mushroom into disaster!" "Roberto first identifies the diverse, sometimes surprising reasons why problems typically fester in the shadows, ignored and unaddressed. Next, ...more
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dec 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." - Theodore Rubin
Simon Eskildsen
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
After reading "Decisive" about how to improve decision-making, I wanted to dive more into how to find the problems worth solving: "identifying the true problem facing an organization often proved to be the most difficult challenge that leaders face." One of the main takeaways from the book is that if you spend the majority of your time zoomed out, focusing on the high-level, you'll lose the nuance and texture when zoomed in. Staying close to the front lines and doing the necessary ethnography is ...more
“The best problem-finders demonstrate intellectual curiosity, embrace systemic thinking, and exhibit a healthy dose of paranoia.” ~ Roberto

This book wasn't horrible, but it wasn't "awe inspiring" in the way that I was hoping. There are definitely some good take aways. The key thing is: be a problem finder, not just a problem solver. In our world, problem solvers are always the ones praised, yet problem finders may save the organization in many ways. Good examples from football (watching ta
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in business
If you are in business, this book can help point you at methods to uncover the hidden problems that invariably happen during the course of business. It won't explain why they happen. Instead it gives you suggestions and guidelines on how to discover them. From that aspect the book is loaded with good information.

Unfortunately, the book reads like the work of a college thesis. On the plus side, it has some great examples .. on the negative side, the language is somewhat stiff at times, making for
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Constructive look at problem finding

Sir Winston Churchill, Great Britain’s intrepid prime minister during World War II, was an amazingly perceptive leader. He was one of the first to warn of the military threat Germany posed prior to both world wars. How did he know? He routinely sought out rank-and-file members of the British military and low-level English government bureaucrats to find the truth. In the same way, you should dig deeply into your organization for unbiased, accurate information s
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The heart of this book is contained therein by a quote from former US Defense Secretary McNamara when he says that "identifying the true problem facing an organization often proved to be the most difficult challenge that leaders face."

Michael Roberto does a great job of mixing story with principle to present an approach to helping you "find" problems before they happen. He explains that problems are not the enemy - the real enemy is the hidden problem. The book then walks you though very practi
I expected more from this book. Essentially you must ask questions, share information, encourage your team to take smart risks, and incorporate after-action reviews into your routines. I did enjoy the section on "Listening". Winston Churchill once said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
Overall this book doesn't uncover any groundbreaking information on problem solving, and I found the extensive citations at the end of each cha
Andy Tischaefer
"Know What You Don't Know" describes common patterns that keep problems hidden in organizations, then outlines ways to spot them and combat them at the organizational and personal level. It is well grounded in practical, real-world examples and solutions, ranging from hospitals to commercial airlines, from retail to the CIA. I found the chapters on filters (2) and bias (5) to be the most useful. While the conclusions it draws are not groundbreaking, Roberto’s no-nonsense approach offers an easy ...more
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro Conoce lo que ignoras, de Michael A. Roberto.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: liderazgo, anticiparse a los problemas.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro Conoce lo que ignoras, 7 habilidades que todo directivo debería cultivar para adelantarse a los problemas que puedan surgir en cualquier organización: Conoce lo que ignoras
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Problems are equal-opportunity troublemakers. Just as minor scratches can become major infections if ignored or neglected, minor problems can become major disasters unless they are discovered and solved as quickly as possible. This book offers several suggestions for becoming a better problem finder; however, the chapters I found most useful were "Watch the game film" and "How to communicate."
Recommend Book Reviews
This book was worth the read if just for the chapter on 'game tape'. The author makes the case that people and businesses in particular should take a pro-active approach to finding and solving problems.

Recommend?: Yes, people who are looking to improve upon what they do will find some good tips on how to gain expertise. Not all chapters are as good as others though.
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
read as much as i could without being able to put any concepts or ideas into practice as this work does work as a practical workbook guide to being open to mistakes and errors to prevent real large issues from happening
Eric Anest
I didn't finish this book, but like so many of the freebies from Amazon, I would have been wasting my time to do so.
Irene Gracesiana
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mind Opening Books :) so many insight from it!
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book - need to re-read this periodically...essential military leadership reading material.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I am now reading. Almost done and definitely worth reading. (However, I am not interested in being a leader)
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good topic and book; I must say, though, that I find Professor Roberto a better speaker than writer (based on this one written example)
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandonded-dnf
I was not in the mood for this book.
Jason Whitaker
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Good read. No good reason for me taking so long.
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“the most effective problem-finders become adept at searching for and identifying patterns.” 1 likes
“distinguish between excusable and inexcusable mistakes,” 1 likes
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