Surround Yourself With Different

Posted on November 05, 2021

Surround Yourself with Different

I analysed the behavioural profiles of twelve managers in one of my early consulting projects and found the most glaring standout was the business owner had only recruited very similar people to himself. Not only was the business lopsided in its management style and focus, but the managers all saw things from a similar perspective and were therefore subject to similar biases. When I communicated that this and some other critical areas were an issue, I received the middle-finger of silence for the remainder of the project, which on reflection was probably a small example of the problems this style of recruitment can manifest.

A person who finds it difficult to listen to differing opinions is likely to surround themselves with people who never disagree or who naturally hold similar views. The problem is, similar types of people have similar blind-spots and in such environments, important things can be missed and businesses can fail.

Adam Grant, in his book, Think Again. The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know says: "We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions. Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger. Weak leaders silence their critics and make themselves weaker."

Personally and professionally, we need a balance of those who affirm us and those who question us, even when we think we have all the relevant information and are already on the right path.

Strong and effective leadership is built upon the firm bedrock of diversity.


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