Philip Green wrote, “I am brave, but I take a view. It is an educated view. I am careful. I am not reckless.” How does an educated view differ from the regular every day points of view and opinions people have, and what importance does an educated point of view have on effective leadership? We have all heard the adage about opinions and what they are like, and the fact that everyone has one, so why is any type of individual viewpoint relevant to being an amazing leader?
The usual opinions that people express are often based on little more than either their own biases or prejudices, misconceptions, or something someone else told them about someone or something. If someone in leadership merely follows an uneducated opinion without doing due diligence and research, he often risks making ill conceived decisions. On the other hand using educated opinions is an effective leadership technique and tool.
1. An educated opinion is based on fact. It is not a “rush to judgement.” If a leader is to effective, he must be both able and willing to make decisions, and follow up those decisions with action.
2. A leader must have an opinion, or he is unable to create his vision. Without a vision, it is impossible to truly be a leader. Therefore, it is inherent on leaders that they use educated opinions, where they decide upon a viable course of action based on research and available facts.
3. Many leadership issues are not “black and white,” and require true leaders to determine the relative pros and cons of various alternatives, to eventually come up with a course of action.
4. Individuals in leadership positions who refuse to act based on an opinion, and only act as a “last resort,” are often guilty of procrastination. Perhaps the single biggest deficiency that any leader can have is lacking either the ability or willingness to take action, and delaying action for as long as possible. In my over thirty years of training leaders, I have observed how foolish, expensive and wasteful, this procrastination is.
5. Successful organizations understand the significance and importance of educated opinions. They therefore effectively train their leaders, and give them the necessary skills to form an educated opinion based on a decision making process. It is remarkable how few individuals in leadership positions appear either capable or willing to make a decision, and perhaps if they understood that nobody is ever always correct, but that there is far more peril in procrastinating, we would have more effective leaders.
For over three decades, I have preached to organizations the importance of educating and training their leadership. The reality is that only an educated leader can ever be an effective one!