Many people have strong opinions, whether credible or not, about what you should or should not do, whether backed by experience or not.
And the more people you have, the more unsolicited opinions you’ll have coming at you– from family, friends, people who work for you, and random people on the internet.
The tricky balance is allocating enough time for people and making them feel like they’re heard while not making everything open to debate.
As a leader, you often have to put your foot down and hope everyone supports the decision enthusiastically and understands why.
Ultimately, the leader makes the decision.
Ray Dalio covers this expertly in his book, Principles.
The Dunning-Kruger Effect (incredible concept) says that the most uninformed people have the strongest opinions.
The antidote to DK is #LDT (learn, do, teach)— to only voice your opinion when you have learned something and implemented it successfully yourself many times to have a credible opinion.
To provide advice, even when you really believe in something without achieving it yourself, is to be a backseat driver or armchair quarterback.
I constantly catch myself and others voicing opinions on something. Then consider if the opinion is backed by a successful implementation to ensure that it is not from a hypocrite or an unknowing and well-meaning victim of DK.
I’ve discussed this at length with mentors many levels above me, but never yet found one who has been able to get people in a large organization to understand #LDT (to provide an opinion only when qualified).
I thought there must be a way to teach this seemingly simple concept– since it would open the eyes of many.
But my mentors have said the solution is not to force this learning on people but to have a super high bar in the first place (avoiding the problem altogether).
Isn’t it incredible how good, intelligent people can come to opposite conclusions?
How do you address leadership challenges?