Amy Lyman Kicked My Assumptions


Marshall McLuhan said, “Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” Author, Amy Lyman showed me one of mine.

Our assumptions expose us:

Beliefs about, the world, ourselves, and others form assumptions. For example, some assume my direct style and enjoyment of controversy is a strategy to drive traffic to my blog.

You might think Dan is a blog-traffic whore. It’s true, I love visitors. I enjoy watching the numbers go up. But there’s something more.

I’m driven to instigating thought and love the conversations direct sentences inspire. The invisible values of inspiring thought and creating conversation underpin my visible behaviors.

“What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.” George Bernard Shaw

An exploded assumption:

Back to Amy Lyman and her book, “The Trust Worthy Leader.” Amy’s interviews and research indicate leaders create and reflect trustworthiness through:

  1. Honor
  2. Inclusion
  3. Valuing and engaging followers
  4. Sharing information
  5. Developing others
  6. Movement through uncertainty to pursue opportunity


I assume successful leaders extend honor to others and that’s the end of it. Of course honoring others is an essential leadership behavior. But there’s something more.

Amy’s thirty years of interviews revealed great leaders feel honor. They feel honored to lead. She wasn’t looking for this attitude, it just revealed itself.

“Trustworthy leaders express gratitude for being asked to lead and acknowledge the responsibility that comes with it.” Amy Lyman

Heart check:

My first response to seeing honor on the list of trustworthy leaders revealed my assumptions. Amy reminded me leadership is a privilege; it’s an honor to participate.

I don’t like thinking of myself as arrogant but pride is a stealthy sneak. I’m thankful Amy challenged my assumptions. I’m thankful for the privilege and opportunity to lead.


I hope you’re great at honoring others. But, do you express the honor you feel to be a leader?


Part one of my interview with Amy Lyman: The Secret to A Great Place to Work. It’s not about employees first or customers first.

Part three: How to Move Through Uncertainty to Opportunity. The opposite of uncertainty isn’t certainty, it’s opportunity.

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