Principle #56 – Facilitate Discussion
Another important trait of business leaders who are successful is their ability to facilitate discussion. Not only do they have good ideas themselves, but they find ways to tease good ideas out of otherwise quiet co-workers.
People sometimes say that “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” But when you need to ask a question and you think that everyone else knows the answer, you might not fully believe that this is true. But when it comes to making decisions that will determine the fate of your business, it is true. If you don’t know the answer to a question, you should ask, find out the answer, and make your decision based on the correct information.
If you find that your business ideas and practices are not producing good results, then you should do what the successful do and return to the fundamentals. Think hard about what sound business principles would dictate; and attempt to practice that, rather than constantly attempting to innovate.
Thick skin is a valuable asset in business. It means not only having the ability to listen to and assimilate praise, but also to brush off direct insults and valuable, but critical comments. If you want to be successful in business, you must have thick skin and you must always ask for comments—be they good or bad.
Becoming defensive is a natural response to getting cornered. Instead of opening up to criticism and assimilating suggestions, we start shooting down any comment directed at us, be it useful or not. If you want to be successful in business, you must learn to resist the urge to become defensive.
When you’re arguing with a co-worker or an employee, it is vital that you concede important points when they are true. Failing to do so will not only set a bad precedent, but it will ultimately make you appear worse than if you had humbly accepted your mistake.
Business culture is driven by the network in which it is embedded. If you want to cultivate a culture of success and confidence, then you must be sure that you exude confidence and success and inspire it in others.
While it can be comforting to dream big about your future, having delusions about your success is purely detrimental. It will cause you to set unreasonable goals and attempt to live up to unrealistic expectations.
In business, you will have to make many difficult decisions. Instead of constantly second-guessing your decisions, take time to affirm your choices periodically, so that you do become overwhelmed by self-doubt.
In addition to working hard, the successful know to take breaks, too. Without breaks, we have no way to clear our minds, re-energize, and prepare for the task that faces us.
In business, transparency is an important virtue. It allows us to fully comprehend what we are doing, what our co-workers are doing, and how all of this fits into the same framework.