Strong Ideas, Loosely Held

by | Jul 6, 2024 | Business, Life

The Kernel of Truth

An often-repeated maxim of the tech/entrepreneurship world “strong ideas, loosely held” has been used to justify much erratic decision making and many arrogant attitudes over the years. However, like many powerful quotes or ideas that have been misapplied, I believe there is a kernel of truth that if rightly applied will make a positive impact.

The kernel of truth this particular idea possesses is the idea that we should hold on to our beliefs with great conviction, but be willing to change those ideas the moment we become aware of solid evidence to the contrary.

In principle, I have agreed with this concept for years, but in practice I found myself a little more dogmatic and less inclined to admit when I am wrong (an unsurprisingly human problem isn’t it).

Last week

Last week I came face-to-face with precisely one of these situations. My intuition nagged at me at first, notifying me that I had made the wrong call. I waved it off at the time, putting it down to being an overactive people-pleaser (in recovery🤞🏻). But when some new data became available a few days later, I back-flipped on my position faster than a politician who was just installed in office 😆.

I also noted afterward that I spent almost zero time wondering what others would think or how my change of heart would reflect on me. Instead, I felt relief that I had corrected a poor choice before it was too late.

If you are ever presented with information that is contrary to your current position beyond reasonable doubt I encourage you to make the jump as fast as possible. It is a lot like ripping off a band-aid; the faster you change your mind the less pain is involved.

An afterthought

After I wrote this, I was reflecting on when I began to learn this lesson and apply it in a meaningful way: I really do believe it coincides with starting Blue Vineyard at the beginning of 2022. My ego is far less important than doing what’s right for the company so I can look after my team and we can achieve our mission.

So maybe if you struggle with this like me, it would be helpful for you to find that thing you care about more than what others think of you and use it to level-up your decision making.