Thursday, November 08, 2018

Conviction > Consensus

Decisions based on consensus typically end up with an ordinary outcome because by seeking to please everyone, you boil your options down to their lowest common denominator: whatever option is the most familiar to the most people and therefore gets the least protest and the fastest support. As British author Aldous Huxley once observed, "The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar. Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen."
Only conviction will take you somewhere the group never anticipated. Sometimes you need to forget everything you've learned - all the classes, the 'rules of the road,' conventions, what investors are telling you - and just go with your gut. It is your intuition, formed from your entire life's experiences, revealing something that nobody else can see. Take it seriously!
Herein lies that most important nuance of leading with conviction: You must surround yourself with others who also have conviction. Strong gut instincts surrounded by weak people or people afraid to speak up are bound to lead you astray.
For extraordinary outcomes, seek conviction in your work and build teams that value conviction over consensus.
- Scott Belsky, The Messy Middle

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