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Why Good Leaders Change Opinions

May 16, 2022, 4-min. read
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When we think of someone being a strong leader, we tend to imagine a person who is articulate, persuasive, strong, and consistent in their views. Someone who can explain and defend their position and doesn't back down from it under even the biggest pressure of adverse circumstances.

After all, from an early age, we are presented with such idols in great stories. The indomitable heroes, undaunted by adversity and pressure from enemies, persevere in their opinions, even if it means avoiding trouble and unimaginable consequences. On the contrary, they are prepared to face them bravely and not to budge an inch from their position.

But what if we placed one of these heroes in a turbulent world where everything around them would be changing? Would they survive? Or would they become extinct because in such a world no heroes have a place?

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The history of humankind tells us that evolution is a key to survival and success. That is, constant change and evolving, respecting changes in the environment and, in the context of those changes, finding and selecting the most useful strategies at any given time. Similarly, in the world of business, success does not come from being afraid to change and challenge own views. On the contrary, the most successful leaders welcome such opposition, seek it out, and through it come up with new thoughts and ideas or refine and improve earlier ones. They do not cling to their opinions, they are open to new information and new knowledge. They are constantly learning and following the path of evolution. They are not afraid of losing their position by changing their views. And their open-mindedness gives them a great competitive edge.

That is when we talk about ideas and opinions. Just as knowledge, science, and data work are constantly changing and improving, and at the same time external conditions and market needs are changing, so are the resulting conclusions. Even the most ingenious idea, thanks to the way the world evolves, will one day become obsolete.

But beware. This does not mean that a good leader should change everything, including his or her attitudes and values. On the contrary. As much as changing mindsets and opinions is helpful, leaders should instead be firm in their values and principles, making them appear authentic, transparent, consistent, and trustworthy to others. Ethics, morality, kindness, the ability to lead by example, principles... these are themes in which the best leaders are in turn very firm and where the analogy to heroes withstanding adversity is quite apt.

Why good leaders change opinions

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