Leaders don’t fall in love with their own ideas. They do fall in love with the vision, the noble goal of the organization, but they don’t cling to their own “great ideas.” And they don’t let you fall in love with your ideas either. Why? Because when you are so committed to an idea, or view, or opinion, you aren’t open to the way things can be. It’s hard, maybe impossible to see new possibilities.
That’s what’s so powerful about getting everyone, the whole company, to fall in love with the noble goal or vision of the company – everyone stays focused to the exclusion of almost everything else. And that’s why the leader won’t let his team fall in love with opinions, ideas or world views because it will not likely help fulfill the vision if our minds are closed to new possibilities. We will see only what we want to see to support our view, opinion or idea.
There in lies the problem. How do you efficiently and with respect get people to let go of their most cherished ideas? In some respects, you don’t have to do that. Belief in the goal of the company will do that for you. In some cases, you may have to move individuals and the tribe to a new mountain top so that their view of the world changes. That is what David Logan means when he talks about Tribal Leadership and how leaders know and understand the language of the tribe where they are presently, and how to move them through the stages of tribal development. The fifth stage of development is characterized, as Logan suggests, by a mood of “innocent wonderment.” In other words, people are not hung up on one idea or world view. They don’t know that things can’t be done. They let their experiences remain in the past and are open to new possibilities and can create their own and the tribe’s future.
I don’t know about you, but I can admit that I love some of my ideas, it’s hard not to. Lot’s of people I know are sure that their view is the right view and that if only others would make the effort to understand, they too would love their ideas and view of “reality.” So what are you doing to challenge and question your own answers and those of your tribe? What stage are you and your tribe in at this point? Are you growing, moving, finding other ways to view reality?