I see a big problem on the horizon for the future of leadership in the area of critical thinking. Critical thinking requires an ability to think outside of one’s current frame of reference. Thinking outside of the viewpoints and level of knowledge that gave rise to a challenge we face in business in the first place.
Another way to put this is to think outside the box. In ancient wisdom we refer to it is thinking outside your current view of the world.
The inspiration for this post came to me from reading an article about how social media and online advertising has participated in really accelerating the polarization of each individuals worldview. If you think about it it makes perfect sense that this would happen. The majority of people have always sought the comfort and safety of people who agree with them and share similar interests.
The problem with polarization has always been that it can lead to an ever narrowing View of the World. This article pointed out, and I agree, that social media and online advertising pose a real challenge in fighting off polarization.
And here’s why…
Different forms of social media and search engines are tracking everything we like and show interest in and they’re responding to that data by showing us information and advertising based on that data. So, the end result is everyone is getting their current View of the World confirmed based on what they already like.
This naturally leads to more narrow minded thinking which is the antithesis of critical thinking. Let’s just face it…polarization happens because our egos like to be right and make other viewpoints wrong!
As we look down the road were on and the introduction of artificial intelligence being used in social media and online advertising it’s difficult to see how were going to stem this polarization without taking intentional action to do so.
The really big problem for leadership is that it involves honing one’s ability to think critically and and an ability to develop rapport with many different types of people. Growing as a leader and continuing to hone these two essential leadership skills is next to impossible if a person is polarized against people who view the world differently than they do.
We’re not faraway from the time when all the leaders at work will have completely grown up in the environment of polarization and an online world.
I feel strongly that leadership development is going to need to include education on how this polarization took place and on the importance for leaders to avoid polarization for good critical thinking skills and the leadership skills necessary to lead people with different world views and personalities.
How do you maintain being open to other viewpoints as a leader?
Until next time…Lead with a Commanding Presence
#Leadership #CriticalThinking #polarization #leadershipskills #ancientwisdomleadershipskills,