Leadership Hats: The Dunce Cap. And Why It’s So Important
I’ve been thinking about the different hats that leaders and entrepreneurs have to wear lately. Like the inventors hat, there are a lot of important hats. And this one just might be the most important of all. Why?
Sometimes you just have to dumb it down.
There are a couple of reasons why the good old rolled-up-paper dunce cap is so important. One involves options and the other involves ego.
1. How Many Options Are Too Many Options?
Options are good to have. They’re necessary. Without options, you can’t negotiate or form flexible solutions. But what if you can think of so many options that it literally paralyzes you from being able to take action. All of a sudden, having options doesn’t seem like such a good idea.
The Perfection Wall
It’s great to be able to rip apart a situation and open a whole world of possibilities. But there’s something called the perfection wall. When you can’t get past asking “what’s the best option here?” and just make a decision, you can hit that wall.
And it hurts.
And one of two things happens. Either you make no decision and the clock runs out and no decision BECOMES the decision. Or you make a less than perfect decision.
Might as well just put on your trusty dunce cap and make that less than perfect decision right now.
2. Big, Bad Egos Make Big, Bad Decisions
The absolute worst thing to do when you don’t know, is to pretend you do. Executive decisions are just that. Decisions. They’re not necessarily ideas. You don’t have to have the best idea. You just have to go with the best idea.
Leadership by ego is a great way to fast-track bad decisions. As a leader you’ve got a team. Put on your dunce cap and utilize the whole team to get the best ideas you can on the table. And then pick the best one.
Tips For Geniuses
Here’s a couple tips to help you cut through the infinite options and make great decisions quickly:
- Got two great options and can’t decide between them? Flip a coin (this is my personal favorite).
- Hand the decision off to your protege. And in your best Yoda voice tell them “Decide you must. Learn, you will”.
- Put on that silly paper hat. And don’t take it off until you’ve made a decision.
It’s good to dumb it down sometimes. It makes you unstoppable. Because if you don’t know that you can’t do it, there’s a good chance you can.