One of those leadership road hazards that most of us hit head-on at times is thinking that we have it all figured out and know all the answers. We spring to conclusions, discount ideas, and generally don’t listen either intentionally or not. Now, I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I actually had an original thought. Don’t take that last remark as bad as I feel after typing it. What I mean is, think about it! Where do you get the ideas you implement every day? Here are the original points of information as I can recall them.
Parents – think about it, all those years of engrained nurturing behavior had to have had some impact on you, right?
Kindergarten – let’s face it, everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten anyway!
School – you may have tried not to pay attention for all those years, but trust me, some of it got through.
Friends – those are the people you learned things from that you didn’t have to be embarrassed you didn’t know.
Books – you know this is the original "not your idea anyway but add it to your databanks for later use” method.
Mentors – those people that you admire most and everything out of their mouth has instant credibility.
Google – it may not have told you what you needed to know but it sent you in the right direction…..
Life experience – it has happened to you already and you have stored the decisions you made for adjustment the next time it happens.
As the leader in your organization or group you have a responsibility to understand that you are just the guide to your people’s brilliance. When you are faced with decisions ask your people about the best solution. Your team had different parents, went to different schools, have different mentors, and have “Googled” different things, so I can assure you, they have different ideas. Your advantage is you get to listen to all the brilliant ideas and then chose the best one!
That is your only true privilege as the leader.