Daily Leadership Thought #88 – There Are Few Things More Dangerous Than a Closed Mind

February 3, 2011

Closed Mind Icons - Download Free Vector Icons | Noun Project

There are few things more dangerous than a leader with a closed mind.  Once an individual thinks he/she has the market cornered on good ideas, trouble is beginning to loom on the horizon.  The reality is that all things are in a constant state of change and evolution.  Organizations, like people, rarely stand still.  The movement can be forward or backwards, sometimes even lateral but it is never non-existent.  As evidenced lately, political leaders who try to resist alternative points of view or simmering discontent, do so with great risk.  No one should think they are blessed to act with impunity.

History books and business journals are full of examples of leaders who ignored reality at great peril and plowed forward with a narrow minded or misinformed agendas doomed to fail.  Your job as a leader is to constantly broaden your circle of advisors and challenge the status quo thinking.  This doesn’t mean that there aren’t fundamental truths or bedrock principles you fall back on, but they should be few and far between.  It also doesn’t mean you should lack confidence in your abilities or talents, rather it means that this confidence should be built on a willingness to grow and evolve in your thinking and understanding of the world around you.  Otherwise, confidence without knowledge and perspective quickly becomes arrogance.   In business and life, arrogance is usually a precursor to isolation, unhappiness and failure.