The Power of Humility in Strategy


"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

As an intelligent reader, you have likely heard and internalized the obvious learning in Churchill's quote: that it is important to consider the practical outcomes of our plans. However, another layer of learning can be found in this quote, which is less obvious but no less important.

First, let's consider the context in which Churchill made this statement. He was a leader during a great crisis and understood the importance of adaptability and flexibility in strategy. Even the most well-thought-out plans can go awry, and it is crucial to pivot and adjust our strategies as needed to achieve our goals. By "occasionally looking at the results" of our plans, we can gauge their effectiveness and make necessary changes.

But there is another aspect to this quote that goes beyond just the practical considerations of strategy. It is a reminder that, as smart and knowledgeable as we may be, we do not know everything. We can become so caught up in the beauty and elegance of our own ideas that we forget to consider other perspectives or alternative approaches. By occasionally looking at the results of our strategies, we are forced to confront the reality of our assumptions and consider the possibility that we may be wrong.

This humility is essential to effective leadership and decision-making. It allows us to be open to new information and to continue learning and growing. So the next time you are confident in your own brilliance, take a moment to remember Churchill's words and "look at the results" of your plans. You may discover something new.

By Dean Miles

Keywords: Startups, Business Continuity, Mental Health

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