Shane Snow, author of the book Dream Teams, describes eight counterintuitive approaches to successful leadership, each highlighted in the form of a simple graph. While this appears visually to come straight out of a management consulting how-to book, there are insights to ponder. For example:
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos got it right when he famously said, of his corporate strategy, “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.” It turns out that this is a powerful combination. Leaders who can motivate their teams to work toward a grand shared vision, but who encourage their teams to adapt in order to get there, are the ones who change the world, history shows.
The ancient Greeks said that virtue was the mean between two vices. If being stubborn and unwilling to change is a vice, then its opposite is being too willing to change—gullible even. The virtue in the middle of these two is called Intellectual Humility:
Finally, to change the world, we need to believe that a better future is possible. That’s optimism. However, to achieve that balance of cognitive friction and intellectual humility, it pays to combine that optimism with skepticism. No, these aren’t opposites. Skepticism is not taking everything at face value. If you believe we can make a brighter future, but you don’t accept everything you see, you might just be the teammate the world needs.