leveraging those who see things differently than you

June 18, 2008 at 12:29 am | Posted in Business, Professional Development | Leave a comment
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A couple of years ago I was doing an exercise at work where we were going through a fictitious acquisition of a small company. We were given the company details and asked to make a first-line recommendation on an offer. My immediate response was, “What’s the guy like?” Another colleague asked, “Why?” and then an interesting conversation ensued.

For me, knowing the guy was really important because I tend to work primarily off relationships. My colleague said, “I actually don’t want to know because it clouds my judgment. I want to just look at the data.” Which way is right? Neither. And both. I think taking just one approach isn’t going to give you the full picture because you will inevitably have blind spots. It’s important to surround yourself with folks whom you respect, but who have ways of approaching problems that are different from your own.

The best leaders (in business and sports) seem to have a knack for surrounding themselves with perfect compliments. The trade off is that you won’t always reach consensus as quickly as you’d like, which can sometimes be frustrating. But that pales in comparison to the benefits of having a strong compliment of talent around you who can see things from all angles.

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