Leaders are not purposefully biased

“Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. Leaders who are good navigators are capable of taking their people just about anywhere.” ― John C. Maxwell

Just recently, I was listening to a local talk back radio station where Tasmania’s Minister for State Growth was about to come on the air. The talk back presenter began by providing his audience a negative presentation of the incoming guest. It was a little rough I found that a leader on radio was able to talk down the Minister before he had the opportunity to defend himself.

The Minister was running late, as probably many senior members of parliament are, and the presenter assumed the issue was likely to be to do with traffic. Instead of considering all possible information, there was an assumption made which seemed to link all too well to the topics he was wanting to discuss. What we found out when the Minister entered the studio was that a big issue for his delay was roadworks – something his portfolio is responsible for undertaking.

The concern this story tells is significant. Leaders are all too often ready to present insights which supports their arguments instead of considering information in a balanced and well considered regard. What this does is enables leaders to provide biased arguments based on prejudiced commentary. Such behaviour is something which does not support the common good, but rather supports the progression of one individual: the leader. If a leader is only for themselves, they will eventually lose their right to be a leader as their followers depart.

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.”― Shannon Alder

We must consider where our bias comes from, and how they influence our decisions: think in a balanced manner. Instead of presenting information which is to our benefit, and sidelining other rational argument, we should be willing to provide the truth. Because the truth is the only valid argument that can be made.

If we cannot see the whole picture, it can be hard to make the best decision possible. Instead, acknowledge we do not know the big picture and actively seek out better insights.

Image by Jaskirat Singh Bawa.