When’s the last time you got given out to?  Were criticised?

I don’t mean by your spouse now – or by a disgruntled child :-).


I mean in a business context.


For me it was just last week.  A friend whose opinion I’ve a lot of time for told me that I hadn’t done myself any favours with a piece of marketing.

I hope I considered what he was saying on its merits.  I hope I wasn’t defensive.

But it also struck me how positive it was that he was able to give out to me – that we have a relationship where that can occur.  Lots of people will never do that.  And, of those who do, they’ll couch it in soft terms.  But it’s good for us to get an unvarnished gut-check from someone else.  It’s good for us to get firmly expressed alternative viewpoints.

You know how news is often topical?  E.g., sexual abuse and sexual harassment is topical at the moment.  A few months ago in America the issue of Confederate monuments was topical.

At the time some people, including Trump, argued against the monuments being taken down.  As the Guardian newspaper reported in August: “”You are changing history,” Donald Trump said on Tuesday of efforts to remove Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, and elsewhere across the United States. “You’re changing culture.”

But there are other viewpoints.  E.g., the same Guardian article pointed out that some of the monuments are not old.  “Thirty-two Confederate memorials have been dedicated in the past 17 years, according to a survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). That’s at least 135 years after the demise of the secessionist movement the monuments ostensibly celebrate.

That makes things a bit more grey doesn’t it?

And recently I heard a black American artist recommend that the monuments stay (so as to not whitewash history) but that monuments capturing the positivity of black Americans be erected alongside them.

If we’re close-minded we’re going nowhere – in life or in business.    So – how do you ensure you get alternative viewpoints?

One way – and it’s the best way I know of for small business leaders – is to be in a mastermind group with the right type of people.  I’m in one.  And I also run one.  How about you?  Are you in one?  Would you like to be?  If you want to learn more about the one I run then go here.