How Leaders Avoid Getting Stuck in a Rut

How do you deal with challenges at the office? As new leaders move up the ranks, they graduate from maker to manager. That also means they must make many swift in-flight decisions with data daily. Avoid getting in a rut by removing the biases of your old thinking.

And at the executive level, it demands a surgical ability to cut out the flawed thinking that used to work in the past. You’ll often have to then reassign resources and document a sustainable strategy for the future.

At a biological level, we receive bad news with a stress response. Thousands of years ago, bad news meant a big tiger was chasing us. And now, the content of our stress response has become more sophisticated, so we need to raise our responses’ quality.

Over a digital executive’s day, we referee opinions on a wide variety of issues. Debates focus on product roadmaps, data analysis, or interpretations of how UX responds to the customer’s voice.

Most of the time, you believe you have the correct answer based on your years of experience when you used to be in the trenches. But that fails to appreciate how others get work done today.

So how do we remove the bias of our old thinking?

Look Inside

Start by looking inside at your leadership style. How much investment are you personally associating with the decision? Checking our ego at the door and looking at a decision requires a scientific mindset of being open to all hypotheses and being open to a thorough investigation of each one.

It is a process that makes you vulnerable and yet liberating always to embrace new frontiers.

To avoid falling in love with your ideas to the detriment of your team and company mission, always entertain multiple theories no matter how antithetical it may seem to your gut instinct. “What the hypothesis is saying…” is a much more effective way of making your point than “what I believe is…”

Simply put, it pulls your ego out of the discussion, sets a safe tone for all to debate the subject at hand, and allows the team to band together on a journey to learn and solve problems together.

And you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn something new, too!