One of Amazon’s leadership principles says “leaders are right a lot.” Jeff Bezos once shared an observation about this principle.
He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He didn’t think consistency of thought was a particularly positive trait; instead, it is perfectly healthy – encouraged, even – to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today. He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.
And, what trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.
‘He would flip on something so fast that you would forget that he was the one taking the 180 degree polar opposite position the day before. I saw it daily. This is a gift, because things do change, and it takes courage to change. It takes courage to say, ‘I was wrong.’ I think he had that. – Tim Cook on Steve Jobs
Source and thanks to: Jason Fried’s Blog
(This is probably the third time I’ve shared this story on this blog in the past few years. I find it to be a wonderful reminder to stay humble and keep questioning my assumptions.)