Facts are better than Dreams

The moment a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, rather than reality being the primary reality, you have a recipe for mediocrity, or worse.

This is one of the key reasons why less charismatic leaders often produce better long-term results than their more charismatic counterparts.

Indeed, for those of you with strong charismatic personality, it is worthwhile to consider the idea that charisma can be as much liability as an asset.

Your strength of personality can sow a seed of problems, when people filter the brutal truths from you. You can overcome the liabilities of having charisma but it does require conscious attention.

Winston Churchill understood the liabilities of his strong personality, and he compensated for them beautifully during the Second World War.

Armed with his bold vision, Churchill never failed, however to confront the most brutal facts. He feared that his towering, charismatic personality might deter bad news from reaching him in its starkest form.

So, early in the war, he created an entirely separate department outside the normal chain of command, called the Statistical Office, with the principal function of feeding him- continuously updated and completely unfiltered- the most brutal facts of reality.

He relied heavily on this special unit throughout the war, repeatedly asking for facts, just facts, As the Nazi panzers swept Europe, Churchill went to bed and slept soundly, “I had no need for cheering dreams,” he wrote “Facts are better than dreams”

People in position of power, either in Enterprise or in Governance should take a lesson from this.

Culled from Good To Great by Jim Collins