Time and time again, teams are put together and asked to build a solution. The skeptics on these teams, those that have no belief in a solution or model will torpedo any possible solution. A without belief in what to build lends little likelihood the build has any value.
Those that believe have built something that shows others this belief.
In many command and control organizations leadership charters some proxy to oversee the solution build. This post is a follow-up to the skeptic builder makes a mess with further direct light onto the executive fool that believes in command and control and believes no serpent on the leadership team is a skeptic.
The skeptic’s dilemma? The skeptic in charge. When a skeptic is put in charge they deceive leadership to maintain their agenda: to cover their ass.
As a skeptic in charge, the possibilities are linear: deceive they believe or learn.
The skeptic wastes resources and team morale destroyed, but leadership will blame someone. The skeptic will point to Lean/Six Sigma; employee enablement, Agile development, digital transformation, or any competitive pressure or the team as the failure.
Who is accountable?
To survive is to deceive.
Which is more dangerous? The believer or the deceiver?
The skeptic in charge never wanted change. They win. No change for them. Status quo. Power of the few over the many.
We know change is constant. Not so for that skeptic.
The healthy skeptic is a good thing, but a deceitful skeptic is a snake:
Skeptic: a person who questions or doubts something (such as a claim or statement); a person who often questions or doubts things … Merriam-Webster dictionary
Belief: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing; something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion; conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence … Merriam-Webster dictionary
These skeptics rarely reveal themselves as skeptics, but pretend to believe in the solution or the need or expectation. The deceiver may use words and concepts, but these are more jargon than genuine. No believer, just deceiver.
A skeptic builds something that falls easily.
A believer builds something to test and validate belief.
A skeptic fails to make progress and either never starts or fails to finish.
A believer discovers solutions that build out their belief.
The skeptic may have cautious interest, inquiry to learn, or active resistance.
Believer or Deceiver?
Learning is lifelong, not so for the skeptic.
A skeptic either believes they know everything or believes there is something of interest. The fixed mindset believes they know everything, the learning mindset finds the art of possibility.
But those that lack faith and charged to build solutions bring mindset to the game. The fixed mindset stopped learning. You can not have a belief to build something with value you do not believe in.
The skeptic does not focus on building. Their focus is further proof before they believe. Further proof is the fuel that skeptics use to delay through doubt.
With a mind closed to options, the skeptic remains to decide not to believe, never to believe, or worse still, deceive others and pretend to believe.
Belief needs vision. Without vision and alignment skeptics cloud accomplishment with a bunch of random activity to confuse and postulate. Inspiration comes in what is possible.
Belief is a sliding scale, but relies on a learning mindset to “believe that may work”. With practice that same person may “absolutely believe it works”.
The first move for a skeptic relies on a learning mindset. Still, a learning mindset requires time and effort.
If you are a skeptic, what inspiration do you bring?
To go from skeptic to believer to builder represent important steps. From initial stage through next-stage growth, those that believe need support to build solutions to believe in.
That you believe in Systems Theory or Zero-based Budgeting does not mean you have added tools to support this or the process to start this at your company.
If you are a leader, find out if there is a skeptic in charge.
Build What You Believe
You may hear of a technique or approach in any of the above. This has happened, is happening, or may, someday, get introduced. Upon initial introduction most evaluate something along a range of skepticism before leaping headlong in.
Step back from business and corporate thought. In your personal life, perhaps you believe in diversity. What do you do to build correct actions that follow-up your belief of diversity. You may mean to believe in diversity, but do you believe in all diversity or limited diversity? The values of diversity or living diversity?
Believe in being kind to your neighbors? What have you built to show others your belief?
To look at a range of what is possible is not blind belief, but healthy and cautious.
There is no shortcut to what you believe and how you build mastery. When you believe something, each and every time you build you test your assumption and add experience.
The foolish executive charters a skeptic to Command and Control, or as my Indian friends call it Caste and Control, other’s effort and outsource accountability. The wise executive will validate first. Trust, but verify or your demise is justified when you enable a snake.
The skeptic that pretends to believe disrupts others around them as they feign solutions, but continue to block options.
Those that pretend in their Lean Management belief, for example, disrupt the builders that try to change. Not believers, but deceivers.
Lean to Mastery
Sometimes our belief in things does not mean we are ready to build, just yet. We have an idea what we believe, but not yet ready to build out that belief. Here is where others can help with possibilities and options.
If you have a skeptic in charge of your team, worry, worry a lot as this presents an indication of both leadership incompetence as well as organization incompetence.
The skeptic that deceives and pretends to believe is a snake that poisons all around them.
The skeptic, the believer, and the builder represent positions people take. Movement amongst these positions rely on a learning mindset. Those with a fixed mindset never move from skeptic.
Those believers and builders that continue with a learning mindset stretch towards mastery. As any master will tell you, they are just beginning to learn.
Mastery is based on learning.
The executive that outsources belief, in turn, poisons the organization.
Unchecked, like any cancer … likely.
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