A successful leader once shared that he constantly asks himself one question: “What am I not seeing?” Assumptions are one of the areas that may be a blind spot, and leadership requires us to challenge them repeatedly.
What used to work yesterday may no longer apply today, and it’s important for leaders to question and challenge those assumptions. The hardest part about challenging assumptions is identifying them in the first place.
The process of examining and challenging assumptions about your market, customers, shareholders, people, goals, and strategies can make a huge difference in your results, especially when those assumptions limit you.
Take a moment to write down a list of assumptions or things you think are true about your business and your organization, no matter how “obvious” you think they may be. You can even do this with your team. Then, challenge them one by one. Is it really true? Could it be different? What if you dropped the idea altogether?
When you challenge assumptions, you can come up with better solutions to problems, identify efficiencies, and create new ideas.
Executive Leader Action Plan:
What are your assumptions?
How will you challenge your assumptions?
How will you encourage others to challenge their assumptions?
“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”
~ John Le Caré