Is It Flip-Flopping or Learning?

 

In this highly charged political season, people often think anyone who changes their minds are flip-floppers, wafflers or generally untrustworthy. I will concede that if they are changing their minds because the audience they are talking to will agree with them, or if they change their minds for purely political reasons…why yes Virginia, they really are weasels.

 

If they are changing their minds because they gained new insights and learned something new, well then I am all for it. Which brings me to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, who recently addressed this on Jason Fried’s blog:

He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

 

He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

Despite the anti-intellectual attitude that has been growing more and more, being smart is actually a good thing.  Being open to change is a good thing. Being able to grow as a person is a good thing. We hold the records of politicians hostage to the point they can’t grow, learn or improve.

 

Whenever someone changes their mind, ask yourself, is it because they’ve got new information or just pandering?

 

One is a good leadership trait, the other is just plain dishonest.

 

Craig Price has helped companies and organizations find their path to leadership with his program
Leading From All Sides“. 

 

 If you are interested in having Craig present at your next conference, association meeting or corporate event please call 877-572-7890 or email Craig@SpeakerCraigPrice.com today to ask about pricing and availability

 

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