Open to Everything, Attached to Nothing
My Guiding Principle as a Leader
“Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.” -Wayne Dyer
While Wayne Dyer is known more as a great spiritual thinker than a keen business mind, I find this quote more applicable than almost any other to my life as a leader. In essence, it speaks to the open-mindedness and flexibility needed to be an effective leader in the workplace, which is even more important now that the world is changing so rapidly. Openness and non-attachment allow you to do the following:
Listen. And by listen, I mean really listen to others’ ideas and solutions, not just sit politely and wait for your turn to speak. If you are receptive and open to influence, you’ll not only hear the best ideas in the room, but you can implement them without ego. That’s what being a great leader is, after all.
Adapt. If you’re truly open, you can adapt to problems and situations as they arise. We live in an age where everything is happening faster and faster, and that speed will only increase (especially in the technology sector). It’s incredibly important to roll with the punches – the solution of today might not be relevant to tomorrow’s problems.
Think Outside the Box. If you’re unattached to conventional ways of thinking, you can think outside the box – or at the very least, be receptive to those that do. Don’t let a singular experience or belief hold back the next big idea. If a dog bit you once, it doesn’t mean all dogs will bite you, so don’t let one bad experience cause you to miss out on all the future puppy cuddles. It’s okay to be cautious, but don’t let your fears keep you from trying new things. Plus, opening your view to embrace others’ ideas also allows you to delegate the undertaking of those ideas.
Think Inside the Box. Sometimes it’s just as important to be open to traditional thinking. Try to avoid phrases like “we’ve tried that already,” “that won’t work,” or “that’s not the right process.” It may not be, or new circumstances may make the idea worth a revisit. Look at what’s changed before throwing an idea out the door. Are there new factors? Was there buy-in when you tried it before? Was there a different team or leadership in place? While I’m not suggesting you do something over and over again expecting different results, I do suggest opening the door to the thought. Even one variable can make a difference, and just like JNCOs, ideas can always come back in style.