By asking a question and keeping your own ideas or opinions to yourself, you accomplish two things. One, you truly give other people the opportunity to be heard. Even if you don't go with their input, still: They walk away feeling they were able to contribute, and that their opinion is valued.
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Rubin's approach is to simply present a problem, optimally in a sentence or two. You can too. For example:
Rick Rubin, the former president of CBS Records, and a legendary music producer described how his problem-solving process evolved:
In the old days, I would say, "OK, here's the problem, here's how we're going to fix it, let's fix it," and we move on.
Now, I'll say, "Here's the problem. What are we going to do?"
When a question comes up, you jump in. Leaders are supposed to have all the answers. When a situation is unclear, you jump in. Leaders are supposed provide clarity and focus.
When you're in charge and a problem occurs, you jump in. Leaders are supposed to fix problems.
But do you always have the best answer? The perfect insight? The best solution?
"Nine times out of 10, the solution the artist comes up with is better than the solution I had. I usually have a solution in the background, just in case, but more often than not ... through discussion, a better decision comes up than my knee-jerk reaction."
You already know what you know. What you need to know is what other people know.
So describe a problem, ask for input, and then stay quiet and listen.
You never know what you might learn.
Without context, success is a meaningless word. Does it mean a particular bank balance or fancy title? The admiration of others? A level of impact on the world? A state of mind? The ability to sleep comfortably at night knowing you've lived up to your own values? There is no way to independently answer these questions. The advice "how to be successful" is pretty useless (or worse, guilty of implicitly reinforcing the unexamined and often harmful assumption that success means being rich and powerful). It also means that there's no one who can tell you you're successful (or not) but you.
Is the willingness to embrace contradictions, and using them to seek new ways forward. eg: Einstein asking how an object can move while being still. Apple, an innovation powerhouse, with a CEO focused on "operational efficiency."
A 2017 study showed the employees who embraced the mindset, who thought it was not just challenging but even a little fun to overcome constraints, were the better performers -- especially where creativity & problem-solving was concerned.
It seems that every major scientific or technological advancement is immediately labeled "dangerous" by critics.
Pushback against progress appears inevitable. Technology is usually morally indifferent. Smartphones can be used to video call your grandparents or order illegal drugs. How we use technology is what matters.
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