I preached cliches about engagement, I raged against misappropriation of measurement metrics and ROI. I lauded social media as the thing that could finally make marketing into what it should have been all along. I believed it should be easier to do than it really is and I uttered, with passion, overly-simplified sound bites like “you don’t control your brand anymore!”.
I’ve learned a lot since then. About the realities and complexities of business, about the intersection of social concepts into real world company culture and operations, about how rarely blanket statements of any kind apply to multiple organizations since they’re all so very different.
I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things completely. I’ve progressed my thinking on other ideas to be more nuanced or specific. I’ve upheld some very core principles, but I’ve matured significantly in terms of how I believe those principles look in practice.
And you know what? That’s okay. In fact, I think it’s essential.
The ability to adapt your thinking and perspective through experience, diverse input and critical thinking is the thing that will separate those that can always stay relevant from those that wonder when and how they got left behind.
Relentlessly standing fast in the midst of the same ideas — out of pride, stubbornness, ignorance or a combination of the three — is a death knell for your career, your business, and your ability to make a true, realistic impact on the world around you.
Staying nimble and deepening intelligence is about:
- listening and hearing more information than you have
- considering that information using critical thinking skills
- applying that information to what you know
- expanding your knowledge, adapting your theories, and evolving your expression of all of the above to reflect what you’ve learned over time, even if that means you have to admit that you were wrong before.
Contradicting yourself is actually healthy.
If you haven’t looked back on your viewpoints and questioned yourself at least once, you’re likely surrounding yourself with yes-men and sycophants, falling terrible victim to confirmation bias, or severely limiting your experiences by staying inside your comfort zone.
The universe doesn’t stand in once place, unmoving. Our lives, experiences, businesses, or the whole of the information we take in through the course of it all aren’t static.
Our points of view shouldn’t be, either.
When was the last time you questioned your own?