What are the first thoughts that enter when we consider the attributes of an individual gifted with a true open mind? Eagerness. Curiosity. Unassuming. Perhaps we might dare to say that one must be willing to seek the truth regardless of the outcome in order to truly attain an open mind. This is difficult for many reasons. Especially in today's modern western society do we find an expectation that we are solidly affirmed on one side or the other on all issues of the day. If not then there must be something wrong with us we are told. The condemnation received for a change of mind on any issue bears the magnitude of a monstrous tidal wave.
Why are we treated in this way? What good is it if we can never change our mind on any subject or issue else become alienated? If we are not open to changing our opinion when logic and reason prove our ideas false, then what is the basis of our being? If we are trapped with our current set of opinions and thoughts, then are we really free thinking men and women? How should we seek to improve society if we all already have firm, immovable opinions on all subjects? Where is the teamwork in such a society? In place of teamwork we find division. We find emotion rules the world where reason and logic once prevailed. What of our ability as leaders if we have closed minds?
An open mind is the prescription for an ailing, divided team. It is our role as leaders to establish not only the example of an open mind but the atmosphere that cultivates open-mindedness. A good place to start is by establishing a culture, which seeks the truth. To do this we must be sincerely committed to what’s right rather than who’s right. All actions, direct and indirect, explicit and inferred, which veer from process improvement inevitably lead to finger pointing. It is more likely to veer from process improvement if the leader is unwilling to permit changes to the process. As leaders we can take some advice from the Apostle James, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." In other words we might advise to watch, listen, learn, and show respect. What other method should we use to get to the bottom of a problem? This is tried and true. Our society is sick and in need of healing. We must solve our problems together else we all suffer. We need leaders with an open mind, willing to use logic and reason in the stead of emotion and fear. Let us then take the next step along our leadership journey today by opening up our minds.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013