Can you change the mind of your leader? Have you ever watched or heard someone, and on the one hand completely, wholeheartedly agree with one point, then violently disagree with the very next point? That is how I felt when watching this Simon Sinek video. Simon has some wonderful insights and thoughts on leadership, and several more in this video, as well as one I disagree with.
When asked: ‘Can you change the mind of your leader?’ he provides two contrasting perspectives – starting with ‘you can’t change their minds’. Then follows with:
‘Be the leader you wish you had’ ✅ and
‘Don’t worry about convincing other people’, ‘You cannot change their point of view’❌
‘Be the leader you wish you had’ ✅
I love this point – in the face of poor leadership or leadership that disappoints you, there is no need for it to bring your leadership down to their level. You can maintain standards, support your team the way you would like to be supported, communicate the way you would like to be communicated to – and they will appreciate it all the more. We don’t always work for perfect leaders – often they are doing the best they can with what they have. You may have more experience, more drive, better team skills – you can still share those with your team.
‘Don’t worry about convincing other people’, ‘You cannot change their point of view’ ❌
With this point, I completely disagree. With solid arguments and points of view, with repeated behaviour over time, with explaining your reasoning, you can influence others.
This takes effort – as well as getting over the frustration of feeling like you are ‘teaching’ your boss, or that ‘they should know how to do this because they are my leader’.
Good leaders can convince and change the behaviours of others through their good example, through their excellent communication and through their devotion to their team.
That said – it doesn’t work every time. Some leaders are too focussed on their own path to be changed by others – so convinced they are right they cannot seek an alternative path.
While you can’t change the opinion / view / decision of your leader every time, it is still worth the effort to try for things you deem to be important. I have failed at this, and I have succeeded too – and the successes outweigh the failures and feel much more rewarding – not because it was a win but because of the change that it could make for the leader, the team and the business as a whole.
Our leaders – just like ourselves – are not infallible. They can make mistakes, not be presented with all of the facts, or have thoughts/opinions/details that they are blind to. As a good leader and team member ourselves, I see it as our responsibility to provide senior leaders with all perspectives, as accurately as we can provide, to make informed decisions.
In this sense, I believe:
We can change a leaders point of view by being the leader we wish we had.
Looking to change the point of view of your leader? Or are you looking to be more amenable to other people seeking to share their opinion to change yours? It’s time to consider one of Developing Leaders Leadership Workshops, as well as complete the Velocity Leadership CheckPoint – our signature leadership assessment tool.