When was the last time you changed your mind?
Hopefully, through growth we shift our position on certain topics – how we feel about command and control, monetary policy, even political preferences.
These types of shifts usually happen over long time periods. Rather I’m thinking about changing your mind on the spot as new data comes in.
In a business context these types of shifts are more difficult. Why?
You’ve often been the one to initiate the idea or approach. You’ve spoken in favor of the idea. You’ve influenced others to follow the approach. A momentum has built up.
That’s when it’s really hard to change your mind.
Here’s another big issue that comes into play here. Your desire to win. Your desire to win at all costs. Your concern about not losing.
The leaders I respect most are the ones who cancelled or delayed a project because it was the right thing to do. I won’t tell you their names. Some of them are reading this blog post. If you think I’m writing about you I am but there are quite a few heroes like you.
Leaders who are ‘win at all costs’ type in these scenarios believe making the date is the most important thing. When issues come up that should cause a shift in approach they dictate getting it done anyway. When the budget is used up by unforeseen needs they cut out critical things to prove that the project could get done. After all, the ends justify the means right? Usually it’s your people and your customers that suffer.
There is a delicate balance between pushing beyond boundaries and being reasonable. Knowing the difference is what leadership is all about.
It takes a great deal of courage to change your mind.
Here’s the thing though. Most everyone sees that you should change your mind. When you don’t, you lose leadership credibility. Then when you boast about getting done, the eye rolls start and you’re toast as a leader.
To do this week: Explore how rigid you are. Visualize drastically changing your key change initiative, perhaps even abandoning it. What would that look and feel like?
Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.