“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.” – George R. R. Martin
Last week in this space I mentioned all the noise that comes our direction and how it can be overwhelming. We are bombarded with information and opinions and facts and non-facts on a regular basis. It’s easy to feel like you’re drowning.
So who do you listen to? When you have ideas, or want some new ones, or need somebody to challenge you or argue with you, where do you go? One of the biggest struggles leaders face is isolation. For all the sensory overload that comes from outside sources, too many leaders don’t really have that person or people turn to for real, meaningful support.
Think about your organization. Is there someone internally who you trust? Is there someone there who will tell you when you’re wrong? Is there someone who will point it out when they think you’re on the wrong track? Unfortunately, there are a lot of leaders who don’t really have that person or group of people in-house. It’s hard to find people who are willing to challenge you when you’re in a leadership role.
So if you don’t have that person inside your organization, who do you have outside? Do you have somebody who’s a sounding board? Do you have somebody who will call you out when you slip into bad habits, who will tell you when you’re not making sense, who will point out the thing you’re missing because it’s right in one of your blind spots? It could be an industry peer, a friend, or just somebody you respect. It might not even be somebody who knows much about your business.
The point is this – wise people seek wise counsel. When you’re faced with difficult decisions, or you’re trying to discern the correct strategy, or your vision is cloudy, you need a person or people you can count on. Find them internally, find them externally, but whatever you do, find them. And use them.