Why is it so important for a leader to be open, to have unrestricted access to information? Why is it, that the more perspectives you have, the better a leader you are?
Many might say, “reality is a picture which does not depend on wishes or convictions”. I am looking at a volume of one of these really old school dictionaries: 1979, “The Modern Lexicon” — funny name after almost 37 years. This encyclopedia defines reality by “materiality” and “truth”. This duplicity brings the definition of reality much more to the point.
One of the first things I learned in university was that Kant once said: “We never interact with reality as it is, we interact with perceptions, with reality as we experience it.”
So what is materiality, and what is truth? Materiality is the objective way of understanding. Truth is the subjective side of reality: our interpretations, our own views. I love this topic, so I have to be careful to keep writing a blog entry, and not end up drafting a novel…
You can talk about ontological reality, the material one, the one which just exists: the glass is filled with 50% water, and 50% air. This is talking about materiality.
An interpretation of the above would be, the glass is half full — or half empty. That is what we call the truth, the construction of what we think reality is.
I am passionate about the idea of these constructions of reality. This theory is called Constructivism. It says that we experience the world as it appears for us. Such concepts also appear in the subject of Neuropsychology: We don’t see with our eyes, we see through the central midpoint of our brains. So reality is perception, and perceptions are constructions and interpretations we make through filters in our brains². We design these filters throughout our life. This means that we construct how the world appears for us. We deal with the truth, and not with materiality.
But if we all have our own constructions of reality, how can a leader reflect on himself, and effectively interact with his team?
Being a great leader requires knowledge of different perceptions, and having this knowledge means to have the capability to interact. So a great leader is open to all points of view, without judgment. A leader can integrate multiple sources of information. So “knowledge” means “to be able to operate in a specific social situation”², by being non-judgmental and by listening and considering all perspectives, being one step closer to the truth.
A great leader works on maximizing his personal and professional potential, and that of his team, by assisting his environment in being non-judgmental, and never stop listening. This is what I mean when I say that leadership is the capability to interact.
Are you ready to discover your full potential — your authentic you? Lead.You.Up! Start with yourself!
1 “The discourse of radical constructivism”, (from German, “Der Diskurs des Radikalen Konstruktivismus”, Siegfried J. Schmidt, 1987, S. 14- 18).
² “The discourse of radical constructivism”, (from German, “Der Diskurs des Radikalen Konstruktivismus”, Siegfried J. Schmidt, 1987, S. 367).