QUESTION:

“What do you do if your own leader is a barrier to implementing the principles of Dream Teams?”

GUIDANCE:

  • If the most powerful people in a group are not on board with Cognitive Diversity, Cognitive Friction, and Intellectual Humility, you dramatically reduce your chances of making breakthrough progress.

  • This is why so many people leave big companies to start their own.

  • This is why so many well-meaning collaborators inside of organizations can’t fully progress even if they do the right things.

  • This is why teaching leaders and those with power the advantages of Intellectual Humility in particular is so important. If anything, simply sharing articles like this one with your leaders can help get them thinking differently.

  • But often that is not enough…

  • It’s important to recognize that most leaders have gotten to the position they have because whatever they did before worked.

    • A leader’s past success will drive them to believe that their own perspectives and heuristics are right. And if you remember from the Problem Mountain exercise, this often is the case.

    • The trouble is when this past success is not helpful in achieving the next success (which is SO OFTEN the case in the fast-paced world we live in).

    • If the people with power are going to change and no longer be a barrier to growth for their organization, they need to be able to see that change as part of the broader narrative of their own success—in other words, how the past things they did right play into their success, and how doing things differently now doesn’t undermine that fact.

    • Sometimes it will be impossible to get a powerful person to see this. And in that case, you need to find a way to get a new leader or to find a new group to belong to. Unfortunately (or not), sometimes the answer to questions like this is simply, “Move on to something else.”