It was Donald Rumsfeld, former US Defence Secretary, who brought to prominence the idea of known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.
At first glance this may seem a bit tortured, but at the heart of this logical mantra is a key element of wise leadership – to which I will return later.