At the Thanksgiving table we were talking politics. Never a great idea, mind you, but something that tends to happen when you bring family together.
Many of the folks around the table were Clinton supporters, but there were a number of vocal Trump supporters there too. The conversation was cordial and appropriate, but you could still see emotions simmering below the surface.
The idea of “You win some, you lose some” came up during the discussion. It’s a pretty simple idea, really. The gist is that sometimes you get what you want (i.e. the “winning”) and sometimes you don’t (i.e. the “losing”). Of course, nothing is really that simple as “winners” and “losers” can sometimes be one and the same. But the idea is the same: We don’t always get what we want, and we have to be comfortable moving on from that.
In our professional and personal lives, we can never become too wed to any one idea. Certainly we want the ideas we support to get supported in return, but we need to remove the “personal” from any given idea. Because, in reality, ideas are simply that. That don’t below to anybody, and at any given time they may or may not be most appropriate for the environment we are in and the people we are working with.
Instead, we should become wed to a process that values all ideas, and puts its support behind the ideas, that through data gathering, seem to benefit the most people over the longest amount of time.
We must focus on ideas that lead to growth, rather than ideas that divide.
One of the best ways for us to do this (or so I’ve found) is to lead by listening, and through transparency. We must allow all to put their ideas on the table, regardless of how well-developed those ideas are, and we must be clear about our reasons for seeking out these ideas. When others know we will hear them out, and when they know the purpose behind our seeking their ideas, we are much more likely to get feedback that others want to give, and much less likely to steer others in the wrong direction.
Sometimes we win some, sometimes we lose some. And that is something we must be comfortable with. Because, when our ideas “lose” just as much as they “win,” we make it clear to everyone that we’re in it for everybody.