7 Ways to Immediately Open Your Mind to Useful Ideas
You can’t be open to everything.
Open-minded leadership is a pernicious waste of time when you lose sight of outcomes. So how can you open your mind without wasting time on useless conversations?
7 ways to immediately open your mind to USEFUL ideas:
#1. Sniff the stink.
An open mind loves learning. You learn from mistakes and screwups. Success is confirmation. Failure is education.
#2. Question the obvious.
Just about the time you think you know something, the door to your mind slams shut.
- What’s working? Why is it working?
- What makes you say that?
- What if we’re wrong?
- What assumptions are guiding this decision?
#3. Confess mistakes.
An open-minded response to painful mistakes is the source of…
- Honest confession. “I screwed up.”
- Innovative suggestions. “What could I have done differently?”
- Humble response. “Next time, I’ll…”
- Responsibility taking. “This is what I’m doing to make things right.”
#4. Seek wisdom in the right place.
Look for wisdom from people who actually do something. What if the suits around the table are self-protective, narrow-minded, and self-serving?
The people who do stuff have useful insight when they embrace your vision.
#5. Reject butt-kissers and brown-nosers.
#6. Honor the ‘right’ people.
Honor people who energize high performance in others.
Retrain, marginalize, or remove persistent de-energizers.
#7. Choose contrarians carefully.
Welcome contrarians that see the big picture. There’s no virtue in always being against. But contrarians with vision bring value to an open mind.
3 questions to be open-minded AND on track:
Conversations need boundaries to deliver useful results.
Direction is protection for an open mind.
- How does this nudge us in the right direction?
- What will we achieve if we take this step?
- What is the goal of this suggestion?
Open-minded leaders – apart from clear direction – wallow in distraction and irrelevance.
What makes an open mind useful? Not useful?
How might leaders develop an open mind?