How to Define Reality
Some believe repetition creates reality. For example, keep repeating, “I’m a great leader,” and you’ll become a great leader. In other words, lie to yourself enough and you’ll believe a lie.
Words aren’t magic fairy dust. You can’t sprinkle them on tough situations and poof, they vanish. Words don’t turn pumpkins into carriages.
Saying something’s true in order to make it true is self-delusion.
Leaders lie when they:
- Minimize problems.
- Pretend things are better than they are.
- Ignore hard truths and tough situations.
- Believe self-perception is accurate.
New realities begin when current reality is defined. Lousy leaders step toward great leadership when they admit they suck.
Work, not words, creates new realities.
Courage and definition:
The ability to define reality – to see and name what is seen – requires courage.
- Not assuming you know, but asking obvious questions.
- Exploring the success of others with openness.
- Taking responsibility rather than blaming.
- Explaining your contribution or lack of contribution.
- Identifying failures, successes, strengths, and weaknesses.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.
Defining reality isn’t creating reality.
Defining reality is explaining what is, not what is hoped for.
Optimism and definition:
Defining reality is a start, but hope takes first steps. Apart from hope – the belief you can change something – dark realities defeat.
Optimism is a daily thing.
Determine the big picture but focus on where you’re going today. Big dreams defeat, if they aren’t broken down into daily work.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Courage and hope enable leaders to define reality.
How do leaders lie to themselves?
What promotes optimism?
I agree that those who ignore hard truth, lie. Ignoring reality is about inviting troubles. Leaders face the realities with courage. They accept what is right and what is wrong. But there are others who distort the facts by covering the realities. I have seen one important attribute of good leaders. They accept the facts without any reservation wheres other accept with condition. So, accepting fact with condition is nothing but lying to oneself. True leaders accept the realities with humbleness and courage. They accept and make effort to work on them. I believe that truth promotes optimism. Any premise based on false notion can not promote optimism. Even if, it promotes, it does not sustain. I also believe that true power comes from strong belief that is based on facts.
Reality can be defined by the justifications and evidences supporting facts. Any reality that does not support evidence is weak in its meaning.
I like the topic of today’s post. Some great points. Another piece I have encountered in my career that ties to defining reality, is a 360 degree view of reality, is perception.
Self perception maybe a lie, but others perception of you is true. There is a saying “perception is reality”. Sometimes improving one self or service offering is a required change, because the perception is accurate. Other times, marketing and good old fashion communication maybe necessary to change the perception of others. Think about your first impression of a person, a company, or a government and how it changes over time. What are people’s perception of you? It may be shadow boxing, but managing perception is another item I would add to list as a consideration when defining reality. Possible another future topic “managing perception”
This is such a good tie-in, Mike. Perception IS reality to the one doing the perceiving. And our perception of ourselves as leaders may be completely different from how others’ perception of us. An ongoing challenge (for me, at least) is how to see myself as others see me.
Well sometimes it isn’t what I know, it is what I know that just ain’t so.
Reality is a toughie with 7 to 10% of the operational equipment I got to work with not accessed regularly. Not knowing that other 90% for me handicaps my decision making capabilities. That is my reality!!!! What’s yours?
So that leaves me with an option to be an Interested Observer and giggle at those who think with the same amount of info i do to make a quality decision and come up with concrete thinking and absolutes. Silly concreters and absolutists!!!!!!
Wonder how absolute they would be if they sat directly in front if God and explained their absolutes!!! Lol how incomplete would their reality be from Gods? Silly wabbits!!
So for me I know I am nothing more than the sum of my thoughts. Even my thoughts Bout that premise proves it’s validity. I am thinking and forming an opinion made up of thoughts about thoughts!!!!!! Hehe
So I am just gonna mosey along knowing for the most part I don’t know jack. I am cool with that!
Difficult part of defining reality is our reality is constant change!!! Realty used to be the world was flat!!! Ooppps!!!!
So I am just gone love well and live sincerely and leave the rest to the Big Dude in the sky.
And laugh at the insistent absolutists.
Sp back to now!!! Just what works for me doesn’t mean I feel u are wrong if you do it different. Just my view from what I am experiencing today and subject to changing at any moment!!!!
Oh yeah just for the record!!! Lol
I work to attract not promote. Promote bad, attraction good in my world. Attraction means to me what I have is something others see in me they want and are willing to take the actions I took to get it.
Promotion to me I have determined I don’t have, but think I do, what others want and need. Playing God a tough position for me. I really suck at it.
Does NOT mean these definitions are TRUE in the overall scheme of things. It means they are the working definitions I use today for what those concepts mean to me right now and are subject to change if I learn they are limited and a deeper insight serves me better.
So for ME optimism is attracted if I have my own house in order and others feel they want some of what he rock is cooking.
Some folks understand us as energy sources. From that perspective the energy I have flowing through me is what is attractive or not. If I am using a strategy that creates joy happiness and freedom other people sense it, feel it, hear it…whatever ways we truly communicate whatever that REALLY is.
Anyways a day later when most likely wont read but at least I know I stated my opinion based on my experience.
SP back to Now!!!
Words can shift our attitudes and build value ONLY when they are supporting the truth. I love the distinction between taking responsibility and placing blame. We shouldn’t merely TAKE the blame, either, but always accept responsibility for fixing the problem, ensuring it doesn’t happen again, and improving the process.
Thanks, Dan, for a jewel of a reflection. This also goes into my Best Articles of 2013 list. Having lived through a “Great Leader” that you describe, I only wish that he would read the post and have the lights go on. But the reality is that he would dismiss it immediately as it doesn’t coincide with his “reality.” Drat.
Several things resonated today, Dan, not least of which “Big dreams defeat, if they aren’t broken down into daily work.” I find this to be so true, but also the greatest challenge because there needs to be that shared vision (a.k.a. big dream) first in order for the daily work to be relevant and accountable. Getting to that shared vision also requires daily work. Good stuff. Thanks.
Often times, opinion takes precedence over facts. Data is good only when it supports the present thinking. Rarely is the data challenged when the results fit the model that was believed to best in the first place.
In the world of lean manufacturing, value stream maps are used to graphically “describe” both current and future (or ideal) states of an existing process or sequence of operations. When created and shared with the team, it becomes clear where we are, where we are going, and serves as the starting point for discussions to determine “how do we get there from here”.
When people see that the leadership really “understands”, they will step up to the plate to help bring the future state closer to the present.
Liked 2 powerful statements- ‘Work, not words, creates new realities’ and ‘Courage and hope enable leaders to define reality’.
The optimism is promoted with an initiative to fight the odds and work on a dialogue that can bring the corrective steps to change the current situation. Good leaders try to change the mind-sets of those who are more influenced by perception and blind faith with fact based truth.
Some leaders lie just to safeguard their interests and protect their self-image by camouflaging information to hide the reality situation. It’s the role of decision-makers/top management to weigh conveyed messages with the facts without having any prejudice.
Truth prevails and courageous leaders will never remain silent to bring the reality on surface by exposing the game players or wek leaders who take the shelter of lies.
Change requires belief plus action. Words alone won’t do it.