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For Leaders, the Opposite of Belief Is Never Disbelief
What leaders believe is sacred ground.
They don’t give up on their beliefs or values without a fight. However, in those moments when new evidence or information presents itself, a novel argument is made, or a flash of lightning creates a new insight, leaders will change their minds.
They simply give up on a cherished belief and replace it with a new and refurbished way of thinking. They commit to the new belief. Leaders, above all, understand that the opposite of belief is not disbelief; it is belief in something else.
True leaders live in a state of commitment to ideas, people, and assumptions. Whenever they have doubts or lose confidence in something, they immediately look for an alternative. They don’t wallow in self-doubt or uncertainty. Because they have a bias for action, they can’t exist without a commitment to a point of view.
Commitment to a set of beliefs and a firm point of view is largely what separates leaders from those who don’t have such a commitment. It is nearly impossible to create strategy, articulate vision, project confidence, and design a plan for execution without a strong commitment to a view.
Those who haven’t taken the time to forge a view or haven’t looked inward to find what they truly believe in will gaze at such leaders in disbelief. They ask, and rightly so, where does this self-confidence come from?
The commitment to a point of view and the beliefs and values that support it isn’t born from experience, aptitude, or character. Rather, it arises from the importance of commitment itself.
Leaders attach themselves to people, ideas, and beliefs they can be committed to. In essence, they are on a continual search for belief. When they land, they land hard, with both feet making an imprint.
But they don’t stay there for longer than they should. Perhaps that is why the expression “Strong opinions held weakly” is so popular with leaders across the globe. Of course, in reality, the recipe is heavy on opinion and light on adjustment.
Commitment means you’re either in or you’re out. Leaders are always in.