I recently read a fascinating book on Winston Churchill. Here are a few ideas I thought you’d appreciate hearing.
A main theme is that opposition and criticism are forces that great leaders must expect to encounter from time to time. People naturally gravitate to the status quo, and will often fight passionately against changes or pivots in your organization. Churchill expected his vision to be opposed, so he was prepared when it happened.
How you deal with this kind of opposition will characterize your leadership.
Of course, just because someone opposes your vision doesn’t mean they are wrong. Jim Collins says leaders “must create a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts are confronted.”
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This causes me to ask myself a few probing questions:
- how well do I receive and incorporate criticism?
- is my first instinct to get defensive and look for all the reasons why the criticism is invalid?
- do I immediately appreciate that I have blind spots just like everyone else, and realize the feedback can open my eyes a bit?
This measured approach helps us provide balanced direction when executing our vision and invites maximum support throughout the organization.
Opposition may just be the best thing that happens to you today.