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Monday, November 7, 2011

Do You Have A Closed Mind or Are You Really Interested?

Being an entrepreneur requires changing direction and activities regularly with the sole purpose of making things work.  This means trying to keep an open mind about how to get tasks accomplished.  It is sometimes hard to remain open to suggestions when you get too focused on how a project is to be completed.  Process is always important, but not always them the only thing that is required to get an outcome that meets the objectives.

Being a manager means having people around you helping to reach a common business goal.  They may be working directly for you or several levels down in the managerial chain.    In addition to full time staff, there are advisors, consultants, and partners that are working hard to make the company successful. Each of them has ideas on how to achieve the assigned tasks.  Some may go about in a circuitous route while others are direct and to the point.

The outcome may not always be exactly the same or what you originally wanted.  But what if it is much better?  The starting points are going to vary and the paths to the end point may be diverse.  In the end, there are a few key questions that you should ask:  1) is this what is needed, 2) did it cost more or less than expected, 3) does the end point provide a good outcome, and 4) can we get to where we need from here? 

It is hard to assist managers that have a fixed mind on what is desired and how to get there.  It is good to be focused in most cases, but not to the point that you are unwilling to consider other alternatives.  Believe it or not, others have ideas and may even have some better than yours!  The outcome and goals must match the need, or at least be better than what was originally desired. 

As an entrepreneur it is important that you need to intact with the team and understand what may be alternatives and whether they are better.  In short, when you ask advice:  Do you have A Closed Mind or Are You Really Interested?  Maybe, you will get much more than you desired just by listening and keeping an open mind.

Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon