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  • Becky Foreman

The secret key to leadership? Listen to the "crazy" ideas!

One of the values I promote in my work is to honor all perspectives and allow all voices to be heard. Sometimes this causes people concern. "What if someone comes up with a really crazy idea?" they ask. "Are we supposed to honor that?" In a word, yes. That does not mean that every idea that is offered can be implemented exactly as it is shared. But it should be acknowledged. And often if you look more closely at the idea and really get to the heart of it you will find it has something of value. Long before the Wright brothers created the first successful airplane flight there were people who tried to strap mechanical wings to their arms to imitate the motion of birds. Looking back this may seem crazy but at the heart of this "craziness" was the very valid idea that people could travel through the air. It took a lot of refining and sharing of ideas to create the vehicle to do it, but that original idea can be credited with leading to airplanes, jets, and rocketships to the moon. So hold this value dear. Listen to all ideas and honor them even if they do not seem practical. Who knows? If you look deeply you may find something in the idea that will launch you forward. And if nothing else, by acknowledging and honoring the idea you will build commitment, camaraderie and a sense of ownership within your group. And that will certainly take you farther than any single idea ever could.

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