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"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
Sun Tzu

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 288

Estimated reading time:  1:45

 

After the US election earlier this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership and values. Leadership is about standing up for our values, for what we believe to be true.

 

And ironically we are all biased, in short if you have a brain, you are biased. That is why it is absolutely vital to be listening to other voices than the ones inside your head. This is true for all of us, and most especially those of us who lead other people.

 

Sure there are times when you need to make fast decisions, to go with what you know. When time is very short and you don't need much buy in from people, go with what you know. And remember going with what you know is more than likely based on your habitual thinking. For more important and longer lasting decisions that require commitment from others you need to mitigate the risk of your habits and biases influencing your decision making.

 

Here are 3 actions you can take to mitigate your biases and habitual decision making:

 

  1. Explore multiple options and hear diverse views about  the issue, and taking those into account, learning from the diverse voices in the room, make your decision.
  2. Take a 3 week vacation away, and go somewhere there is no internet access. (This will help refresh your brain. Think of it as a kind of reboot)
  3. Make a commitment to change your mind at least once a week. Even a small change can tell your brain that new neural pathways are good.

 

 

The best leaders then hold growth and learning as a fundamental value.