In Praise Of The Open Mind: A Year-End Meditation on Leadership

It’s that time for reflection – on the year that is about to pass, and what’s to come in the year ahead.

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately, because I’m in the middle of writing a book about leadership that I hope to publish in 2013 (stay tuned on this!).

What I’m realizing through this deep dive in my cranium is that leadership should never be a “static” thing.

That is, leadership is a constant evolution, supported by a core foundation of a passion to serve and intellectual curiosity, and fueled by experience and external change.

Those who accept that reality will thrive, grow, and have a chance for greatness.

Those who do not, and close their minds and their hearts around a fixed and immutable view of the way leadership should work, will fail.

It’s that “openness” that’s key.

There was a piece in the NY Times today that featured Robert Murray, the CEO of iProspect, a digital marketing agency.    He was talking to Adam Bryant about leadership, and said this (my emphasis added):

“We’re evolving really fast, and I’ve always believed and pushed hard that you have to embrace change and be willing to evolve. We’ve made major structural changes to our company about every 18 months. You will not survive and aspire to greatness if you assume there’s one way of doing things and just continually beat that drum.   So we have to have a team that’s very flexible and adaptive, and understands that change is going to happen.”

You have to have an open mind.

And an open heart.

Be open to possibility.

Be open to change, and the real possibility that the “you” of tomorrow will be different than the “you” of today.

And that’s OK.

Stay open, learn, adapt, and then show the way forward.   That’s leadership.

Have a wonderful Holiday season, and we’ll see you next year.

Thank YOU for supporting me on this wonderful journey.

(Photo by Bigstock)




  1. says

    Hey thanks Skip for your comment, and kind words. I’m quite excited about the book, so I’ll be happy to keep you posted. Happy New Year!

  2. Adam says

    There is real wisdom in this post. Leadership is an evolving relationship that changes with the needs of the community that the leader serves. We so often look for the right “recipe” or “formula” for effective leadership, but the best leaders are those that meet the immediate needs of those who rely upon them but also paint a compelling vision of what is possible in the future, thank you Terry for your insight!

  3. says

    Hi Adam, thanks for your comment! You said it well – there is no “right” way to lead, and leadership ought to be a “celebration of the possible”.
    Happy New Year!


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