Never conceal your ignorance | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

If you ever find a man who has become very productive in life, one of the things you will discover about that person is that he never conceals his ignorance. By not concealing his ignorance, he would have learnt a lot more and move faster in life. He would know more than you can imagine and will soon be rewarded for more than you think he should be rewarded for. Does it also come that cheap? If all we need to do is to make sure we do not conceal our ignorance why do people then find it difficult to do?
To start with, there are categories of ignorant people and they include:
1. Those who do not know and are not ready to know.
2. Those who do not know and don’t know that they do not know.
3. Those who clearly presume that they know and obviously know nothing.
4. Those who know in part and are trying to apply the little they know for everything.
5. Those who are always learning but have stored up the completely wrong information.
6. Those who see opportunity to learn something new but stick to what they already know.
From the categories I have created above, you can see that ignorance can be deliberate and it can also be accidental. It does not really matter if it is deliberate ignorance or accidental ignorance. What matters is that there is ignorance and it must be taken care of. You cannot afford to keep your ignorance with you or to yourself and be working with it. Ignorance is not an asset. If it was an asset then you will be allowed to keep it for as long as you want to. That is why people only pay you for what you know how to do! Nobody pays you for what you don’t know how to do or presume that you can do.
So what are we looking at when we say you must not conceal your ignorance? Does it mean that you have to go round telling people you are ignorant on certain subjects? I don’t expect you to do that. What is expected is that you must show willingness to learn when you get to a new place. It may be a new office or maybe you have to work with a new team in a voluntary organisation. There is no crime in not knowing it all but you have to be open to the people you are going to work with. Let the people see that you are ready to work and as well learn from them rather than proving points to them.
Every industry at some point also under goes some form of revolution or the other. When the revolutions take place, it is worthy to note that it mostly shakes the ignorant people who have also been concealing their ignorance. It will shake those who never admitted that they did not know or those who didn’t know and just refused to want to know. An example is the introduction of computers to many offices several years back. Before the computers came there were type writers. Many of those who used the type writers continued with it even after the computer came and refused to make a shift. After a while, they were all thrown out of the systems just as the type writers they were using became totally relegated.
You will see people people in some places who will get into a new team and they want to show everyone what to do when they should be the one learning from every other person. Such people are concealing their ignorance and by the time it will show forth, the ignorance will cost the organisation something much more than they bargained for.
What to do when you honestly don’t know
1. Ask questions in order to know.
2. Be humble to learn as you watch others.
3. Go back to school if you have to.
4. Go for a short seminar or an online training.
5. Always search for new knowledge in your field.
6. Never wait till people say you don’t know before adding knowledge to yourself. See how others are excelling and constantly add knowledge to yourself.
Rather than conceal your ignorance, you should dispel it and learn in order to become relevant to yourself, your family, organisation and the society at large. Remember that you will only be paid for what you know and it is what you know that makes you relevant!

Fola Daniel Adelesi
Edible Pen.
My books are now available on Please go there to buy. Thank you!
+234 (0)803 416 3006
fola-daniel – Skype
@foladaniel – Twitter
Edible Pen » Public Speaking | Business Development and Management Training | Business Proposals | Consulting| Master of Ceremony | Blog Training | +234 (0)803 416 3006 |


  1. Very informative piece…although it appears to be centres on our professional lives, I believe this message can very well be applied to our personal lives , which is certainly very vital..well done bros

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.