The Tirpitz was a WWII German warship that could not be sunk.
The Titanic was iceberg-proof
The 1980 Russian Olympic Hockey team was going to win the gold metal, no question.
Sears is too big to ever be taken down by an online retailer.
Wal-Mart will never pass K-mart
Be careful of these statements and perceived realities. There’s always something or someone to defy the odds, and to beat the unbeatable. Whether we’re David or Goliath, watch, look, and listen. The impossible may be closer to reality than we think.
One of the constituents on a project I’m working on recently established an extreme position in regards to a proposed solution; very extreme. Their position and proposed consequence has impact on a large, broad body of people, user groups, and businesses. The goal from the owner was collaboration and shared solution. What they got from this particular group was the opposite.
The problem with an extreme position is that when we make a statement and proposed consequence, we’ve got to be willing and able to back it up. “If you don’t do this, I’m going to do _________ (fill in the blank.)”
Are you REALLY going to do that?
Sometimes a clear line needs to be drawn. Think and be mindful about where you draw it. You’ll have to back it up when someone challenges you on it.
Allow dissenting voice in meetings, especially around strategic discussions and direction. If dissent doesn’t define this idea clearly, call it “allowing opposing viewpoints.” Some will say “I’m playing the devil’s advocate for a moment.” Phrasing aside, I find it good to appoint someone to state the “cons”, to point out the roadblocks, to take the opposite view, to articulate the worst case scenario. I’m not always excited about the opposing view. In fact for many years I didn’t think it necessary to hear, nor did I advocate for it. It made me uncomfortable. It still does at times. This is good. It allows freedom for all to vent their perspective and be heard. Collaboration in decision making wins. I’ve made many mistakes alone or in isolated decisions. Again, collaboration wins. Dissent and opposing viewpoints are one key part of that process. All stakeholders must voice input. In the end, the leader makes the decision, but it’s harder to make the wrong one when all the facts are on the table and we are fully informed.