Every successful leader I have encountered has a story. I am not necessarily saying they are a story teller, although that doesn’t hurt. What I mean is they have become a successful leader through a memorable journey that has taught them something.
What is the difference between people with just “lessons learned” vs leaders? People with “lessons learned” think they now have the right answer, and stop looking to learn. Leaders take those lessons, apply them forward, and know another lesson is right around the corner.
When a person thinks they have the right answer, they fall victim to “illusions of certainty” and become less receptive to the environment around them. With customers, employees, partners, and the economy constantly going through change, it is hard to imagine that any type of certainty will hold true for very long.
True leaders recognize this and treat lessons as directional, not absolute. They find a way to apply the learnings to the next lesson, which then provides more insights that are applied to the next lesson, and so on. This results in an on-going learning process that great leaders not only understand, but they leverage it.
Leaders don’t mind being wrong.
In fact, many leaders love to be proven wrong. Although they might be skeptical, they want a person or team to show them what is possible beyond what they have already seen.
So if you are hoping to truly be a leader to those around you, realize that being right isn’t the answer. Taking chances to be wrong is the real game changer.
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