Taking A Hard, Inspired Look At Yourself

“When your organization has a chance to see itself as its customers do, do your leaders crowd around, trying to glean every insight they can about the story and your future, or do they prefer the status quo?”

Seth’s Blog, Seth Godin

One of the scariest things to do in the world is taking a relentlessly honest look at your business life. However, the risks of not doing so are greater than ever, because the status quo is a rapidly changing marketplace that we sometimes fail to fully perceive. Much in the way that we fail to appreciate that our earth is spinning at nearly 1000 miles per hour.

When you fear the outcomes of a hard look, consider the following:

  • The hard look is the epitome of honesty combined with support to find potential answers. Respected leaders put themselves in the crosshairs first to inspire others to do the same, while helping them to also look at themselves.
  • Effective leaders encourage a team approach in the midst of a search for “the truth.” A hard look is not about brutal criticism, it’s about working together to uncover a business truth, and that’s what good leaders strive to accomplish.
  • Honesty paves the way for inspiration and creative effort. In a sense, honesty liberates your intellectual abilities that would otherwise be compromised by the resistance associated with self-protection.
  • A hard look is a long-term look because it sets a stronger foundation for future success.

In some environments the hard look doesn’t occur for many reasons and a company stumbles along, possibly profitably. But it’s a very narrow version of success, with poverty for everyone along the way.