Sometimes the greatest gift the leader can give is to prompt people to think differently, even when that might involve a reframing of your rules. As people, we all have blind spots. The wise leader knows this and looks for them. Being a catalyst to remind people to be open to a new perspective is powerful and effective.
Charlie Young is the president and CEO at ERA Real Estate. He reflects upon a boss who embodied these characteristics and the effect that it had upon Young and his team (Arianne Cohen, “Good Boss, Bad Boss” Bloomberg Businessweek, 4/13/15–4/19/15, p. 76):
“My boss at a consulting company shaped my management philosophies, including ‘Play offense, not defense,’ so we’re forward-thinking and aggressive. Whenever I’m stuck, I remember how he challenged me to shift the rules.”
Rules-shifting leaders are the people we should seek and the people we should become.