As a leader, you cannot demand that your peers, bosses and subordinates be honest with you about their opinions, or about business developments, unless you are ready to receive this information honestly and treat it with respect. Too many managers approach each “issue” with pre-conceived notions that place filters on what they see and hear. This is counterproductive, as it may mask the truth and cause you to make poor decisions.
“To understand truth one must have a very sharp, precise, clear mind: not a cunning mind, but a mind that is capable of looking without distortion, a mind innocent and vulnerable.”
Note the emphasis above on “innocent and vulnerable.” Strong leaders who react negatively to such words as “weak” and “unleaderly” are exhibiting that very filter behavior you must put aside. Allow yourself to believe that others may know better than you in given circumstances, and you start to create the mental clean slate that can absorb news objectively.
“The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing – to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts.”
Be open to new ideas and opinions that conflict with what you have known. Seek out this sort of input to test that which you assume to be true! Old information may still trump new information, but the contrast will create greater understanding of what is truly going on in your group, company or marketplace.
“I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I am doing.”
If you truly want to pursue the truth in all activities in which you engage, try to stretch yourself out of comfort zones. Challenge your own assumptions and experiential knowledge. Never assume what you have learned still applies without “stress testing” it to renew its relevance.
The Pursuit of Truth is a core element of our leadership philosophy at Bovo-Tighe. If you are not already conditioned to fully accept new information and give it a chance to prove its worth, you must start now to train yourself to adopt this mindset. Your ability to make better business decisions, and fully engage the energies of your co-workers, depends on it!