Saturday, December 1, 2012

Search for dissenters!

A leader is most vulnerable to serious mistake when they are emotionally tied to the topic and surround themselves with people that agree with them.  You know the situation, something has you total engulfed and you absolutely know that you are right.  You share the situation with a loved one and ask their opinion.  They feel your pain and agree with your position 100%.  The problem is they are being supportive not objective!

We recently attended The 2012 Richard Salant Lecture presented by the New Canaan Library and hosted this year by Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News).  One important topic discussed was the fragmentation of the US news media into cable channels with different slants and points of view.  The distinguished guest panel (David Gergen, Peter Goldmark, Jr. and Joe Scarborough) shared their concern that this created a problem in the US where people can listen to the “news” that matched their opinion and it stopped people from hearing things that made them consider alternative ideas.  It seemed like a reasonable hypothesis so I tried it.

This week when I had a strong opinion on something, I continued to share the example with trusted colleagues until I found someone who disagreed with me.  Guess what happened – they were also right and I tailored my view.

Do you search from dissenting opinions? Do you search until you find one?  Once you find one, does it typically sway your opinion?


ken kuang said...

What a great insight, thank you very much for sharing! When the leader is confident and secure, he or she is more open to the dissenters' feedbacks.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

EXCELLENT always! You are pretty amazing. In just a few words, you hit the nail on the head and make your very important point! Thanks for including me on your distribution list.

MDF Board said...

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Anonymous said...

Your first sentence is a perfect description of a book critiquing the media by Bernard Goldberg. Brian Williams et al. didn't worry about such things when they presented the news with their editorial POV. Specifically a liberal viewpoint. They were the only game in town. Now there's FNC to challenge their slant and suddenly it's a problem. They didn't repect other viewpoints in the news presentations and so those viewers went else where. But according to the distinguished panel the problem isn't with the news organizations it's with the people .

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