When in doubt there is no doubt!


When in Doubt there is no Doubt!

In business as in many aspects of our life when we doubt something there is usually a good reason the doubt exists. When we get this hunch or gut-feeling we simply need to acknowledge it and then proceed to test the doubt. We need to ask ourselves and potentially others the tough questions.

This leadership mantra is an important one to keep front and centre. It helps us to question and to not just accept things as they are. It encourages one to listen to their hunches and gut feel.

Here is what a client once said about this very subject; “I was once interviewed for a senior job and was feeling confident and good not only about my prospect of getting the job, but I was also feeling good about the organization, my bosses, and the fit for my career goals and aspirations. However, at lunch with my two bosses one of them at one point actually sat on his two hands and held his arms close to his body. The impression I had was two fold, 1) he was hiding something and becoming increasingly secretive, and 2) he was showing a real level of uncertainty, a lack of self confidence, and a level of indecisiveness. I knew then I should not take the job offer and remember quite vividly saying to myself…oh no.

I took the job any way and in no time realized my mistake. To this day my regret was in not challenging my doubt and asking the tough questions. If I had simply stepped back and perhaps done a bit more research and asked questions I may have found out things I did learn later on. For example, I was the 10th sales manager in the past 7 years. There were reasons well beyond “we hired the wrong guy”…there were real systemic and cultural issues in this organization and I was not alone.

My doubt at that lunch was confirmed over and over again, my bosses continued to hide and deceive. I vowed never again to ignore my internal self.”

Develop and healthy routine in leading and managing where you ask yourself and others the “what if” questions that challenge the status quo, that encourage one to dig a bit deeper. You’ll amaze yourself at the results.

Having this mindset is not about being jaded or negative in your thoughts. Rather it is a mindset about being open and more thoughtful.

We expect our leaders to be more thoughtful, more strategic, and to have a vision and direction. To do this leaders must be challenging themselves and others constantly as a means of adding more validity and credibility to where they want us to go.That does not translate into expecting a leader to have all the answers. Or for his or her direction and vision to be perfect. Actually it is because no one individual can have all the answers and cannot be perfect 100% of the time this leadership mantra has real value.

Instead at the heart of this mantra is its reason for existence. To allow doubt and to question means one must be open to feedback, open to the tough questions, and open to be challenged on things we are passionate about and that we have ownership over.

So the “what if” questions like the following challenge us to check our egos and to be open;

“What if we are wrong and miss the mark? What should we do to test against this happening and what would we do if we are wrong?”
“What if we have missed something in choosing our direction?”

Be open minded and challenge yourself often to doubt and question. Great leaders do this. When in doubt there is no doubt. So explore and question. You will find time and time again there was a good reason for the doubt to be there in the first place.

So live with, “when in doubt there is no doubt”.


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