Leaders Surrounding Yourself with Big Thinkers

How Not to Surround Yourself with “Yes”-People

Can Conflict Make You A Better Leader?
“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” -Warren Buffett

One of the most important decisions you make in life is who you choose to be around. Surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you is what you want in order to make greater decisions, work better with others and to understand the organization and your employees in how they may perceive what is needed.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, once said: “Surround yourself with people who complement your weaknesses and share your passions — success will follow.”
To stay grounded executives must prepare themselves to confront several vast complexities and pressure that you sometimes need to surround yourself with those who can help solve these problems. Here are some tips to help you generate thoughts and ideas to meet these challenges.

“A leader is someone who turns a great thought into an even greater action.” – Linda Poindexter

It is usually the first reaction to surround ourselves with those who completely agree with us. It feels great and of course, your self-esteem goes up. Then you have those people who actually disagree with you. There are those times when these same people give you the real answers you want even though it is tempting to want like-minded people to always agree with you. You need people who challenge your thinking and decision making to put perspective on what the actual issues are that need to be looked at carefully.

Surrounding yourself with big thinkers come in a variety of what you really want to do. Big thinkers are not “Yes” men or women. These people are creative challengers who generate, create and produce great ideas for breakthrough results. They add a little spice called details into their thoughts and opinions. It helps to have those around you who don’t always agree with you as you begin to see other perspectives for other new ideas to support what is possible and what is not.

What Drives You?
Every organization needs people with greater focus on the things that matter most. This talent helps to continually learn better and helps the organization perform at a higher level.

“Great leaders can see the greatness in others when they can’t see it themselves and lead them to their highest potential they don’t even know.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

I believe you need to diversify your circle of thinkers. For example if you are going to choose someone who is an extrovert, you should also choose an introvert. If you include someone who is logical then you should include someone who is more imaginative. Don’t just choose people who are like minded as they may

“Spend time with people who will challenge your thinking, your goals and your actions.” – Vanessa Shaw

Agreeable People Boost Your Confidence
You may interact with like-minded people yet you need to surround yourself with big thinkers for greater business results. Get feedback from others on a regular basis to help improve on the organization as well as your leadership. Gaining new perspectives from others allows you to explore what is said and possibly think of other possibilities. Leaders can benefit by hiring talented people who share their unique insights.

Develop Your Strength By Interacting with Other People
“Surround yourself with good people, then the important thing is to listen to them, and not let them know what you think before you ask them what they are thinking. Once they know what you think, most of the time they will just go along with it.” – J.W. “Bill” Marriott of Marriott International

Appoint challengers who are subversive and who have alternative points of view.

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” -John Wooden

Writer Susan Tardanico, lists various types of personality who can help provide different perspectives to the decision-makers:
•The Contrarian pushes you to think differently by taking opposite views and is always thinking of the worst-case scenario.
•The Everyman is plugged into the lower levels of the organization, helping you understand how your decisions affect them.
•The Optimist is a best-case scenario person, and provides positive energy during difficult times.
•The Bleeding Heart is the empathetic member of the group, making you aware of how your action affects people.
•The Sage is the strategic thinker and coach, helping you to stay calm in a crisis.

How do leaders ensure they have a mix of these people? Among other things, look through your list and identify the roles each plays with regard to the different types mentioned above.

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

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