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Leadership Thought #297 – Avoid the Popular Opinion Bandwagon

February 14, 2012

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Everyone is too quick to jump on the popular opinion bandwagon these days.  Instead of taking the time to understand the facts and make an educated decision about something, it is much easier for most people to just go along with the crowd and follow whatever the media or their brand of talking heads tells them to think.   Just because something or someone resonates with you doesn’t mean this is an accurate reflection of reality.

There are no shortcuts to good judgment and thoughtful consideration.  True leaders can’t just go with the flow or opt for what simply validates their existing preconceptions.  As the saying goes, “whenever everyone is turning right consider turning left.”   It’s important to do your own thinking and draw your own conclusions.  Sometimes the crowd is right, but often it is misinformed and/or just plain wrong.   Intellectual arrogance and laziness are just two sides of the same coin.

Conventional wisdom will only ever get you so far.  The future is created by those who opt to think outside of the box and carve out their own path.  Instead of choosing to see only what you want to see or hear only what you want to hear, I encourage you to be open to alternative points of view and not rush to judgmentCritical thinking is a key ingredient to a successful life.  Strive to differentiate the truth from fiction even if it makes you uncomfortable at times or requires extra effort.  Stay off any opinion bandwagon until you are certain the proposed ideas are supported by your own objective fact-based analysis not merely a personal need to feel validated and/or safe.  Lastly, be careful who and what you follow – it may take you off a cliff.