(206) 686-4400 ext. 13

(206) 686-4400 ext. 13

Henley Leadership Group Blog

Are You Willing to be Wrong?



I don’t start my day out looking to discover where I might be wrong. I start my day out hoping all will go well and that I will receive validation for what I am doing right. I am also hoping that if I do make a mistake -  or don’t get to all of my accountabilities - that no one notice. Or that no one will make me wrong.  More honestly, that no one will notice so that I don’t end up feeling bad. I don’t actually think this thought consciously, but I know I do it. What if this wasn’t my pattern? What if I practiced disrupting the seeking of validation for my point of view, stopped protecting my credibility, quit proving my point, and stubbornly resisting the opposition? What would I see if I was willing to be wrong?

 When I think of starting my day curious about what I might be wrong about, I can feel the fortress of my righteousness lay another row of bricks. The potential disruption of what has become easy is overwhelming. Examining the corners of my complacency and complicity where I have turned down the volume on the bullhorn of disturbing daily facts, squinted my eyes to see a prettier reality or said I simply don’t have the energy to take this one on – is simply too much! So, I won’t go there just yet.

 I will start this query from here. Just with the question:  What would I see if I was willing to be wrong? This moves me from overwhelmed to curious. It prevents another layer of bricks, and instead has me remove a few to see what is on the other side. It moves me into considering:

  • What has my team been trying to tell me that I have not been willing to hear?
  • What business decisions have I made from the belief I am right?
  • What habits did I start early in my career that have now outlived their time?
  • What specifically has me be stubborn about certain approaches to my work?
  • If I am right, who is wrong? And, are they really?
  • Is it true that wisdom comes with experience?
  • Do I really have to go along to get along?
  • Am I willing to risk the disruption to discover that I was wrong all along?

 So, what about you? Are you leading as an expert? Or are you curious and learning? What would you see if you were willing to be wrong?