Editor’s Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list.
(Warning: these practices may work for these people, but this writer takes no responsibility for the strangeness that may cause in your life. Although, as a lifelong advocate of eccentricity, I encourage you to try them on.)
to steel your team’s beliefs. “In business you can’t turn over the reins to someone who doesn’t know how to defend their own ideas and plans,” Nazar writes. Like an ancient Sophist, you should argue with your colleagues about what they are thinking and doing. Debate forces them to articulate their own motivations and assumptions and do the same for you.
You need to be ready to call someone out. If somebody is bullshitting you, tell them. They need to hear it. Being endlessly deferential is a shortcut: instead of doing the hard work of advocating truth, you take the “easy” route of suffocating in passivity. And remember: you can train yourself to communicate better.
It’s healthy to have high standards. Nazar mentions George Carlin: he watched the comic master berate himself in rehearsal for missing the timing of his jokes by a few seconds. Mastery is uncompromising. As a magazine editor once told me, you have to be willing to be great, which requires ruthlessness.
Some people go their entire lives having never thrown or taken a punch (like me). It’s just a punch. Some people live their lives afraid of rejection. Getting told “no” isn’t the end of everything you hold dear. Neither is being left out. In fact, it’s healthy.
Yes, we know that you’re incredibly popular and hip and you never eat alone and you can work any room. That’s great. But if you ever want to grow internally rather than court external validation, you need to get away from all the people. Reflect. Care for your inner introvert.
What’s the one thing you do that makes you highly functional and highly you? Get thee to the comments.
Drake Baer is a contributing writer for Fast Company. You can follow him on Twitter.
[Image: Flickr user Lorenzo Tomada]