How to think differently
Think. Write. Lead. - Issue #37
Hey, there! In this issue I tell you a story about overpolite people, why being a contrarian on social media pays off, and how to think differently so you can become a thought leader.
Canadians are stereotyped as being too polite. 🇨🇦
As a Latino living in Canada, I usually appreciate that politeness.
Until the other day when…
I was talking with fellow Canadians about thought leadership.
I mentioned the importance of having a clear point of view (even a polarizing opinion that you can defend with arguments) so you can build a tribe.
“People should get along and agree on everything. Being divisive is not nice.”
I think that’s B.S.
Although agreeing with your wife is usually the wisest choice.
Thinking differently is the basis for innovation and growth. It’s also a tenet of thought leadership.
So how do you think differently?
Easy. Stop taking things at face value.
This is especially true on LinkedIn (the Canada of social networks), where most people like and agree with whatever other people post.
Here’s an example. A well-known marketer criticized the practice of U.S. companies paying lower rates to international contractors.
More than a hundred people commented on the post, and 95% agreed with the author.
This is the last part of the post.
I disagreed and pointed out some issues that the author seemed to have ignored.
Disagreeing with good arguments sparked conversation
When someone makes a statement about an issue in your industry or a topic you’re writing about, ask these questions before nodding your agreement:
Are there some ramifications or unintended consequences that are not being considered in this statement?
Is that statement slanted towards certain cultural, political, or religious beliefs?
What biases or prejudices may be at play here?
What experiences do I have that contradict such statement?
Perhaps you’ll end up agreeing with the statement, but going through these questions will make you a better thinker.
Let’s keep it simple. Next time you are scrolling through Twitter or LinkedIn, catch a post that doesn’t resonate well and write a thoughtful (but polite 🇨🇦 ) response.
See what happens next.
Our thoughts are shaped by our experiences.
If you’ve always lived in the same place, surrounded by the same people… If you always read the same books by the authors who share your beliefs… your experiences may be quite limited.
But when you get out of the familiar, both physically and intellectually, you gain new perspectives.
And those new perspectives are the ones that will make you a thought leader.
So start by doing something different.
Eventually you will think differently.
Do you agree?
Becoming the go-to expert in your field is not easy, but quite possible — if you follow the right path. This book decodes the secrets that successful entrepreneurs have used to become thought leaders and make a lasting impact in their industries.