If you read the popular blogs and articles on leadership and positive psychology [1], you could be forgiven for thinking that following the prescribed approaches will solve all your problems [2].

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The world is much more complex and messy than is often portrayed.

We all have different perspectives on what works and what doesn’t. We use our own experience to construct our own mental models of the world. These models won’t, and arguably shouldn’t be the same as everyone else.

We live in an information-rich environment. Never before have we had access to the vast amount of data, opinions and editorial comment we do today.

What does this all mean?

One possible meaning is that there are an unlimited number of ideas to apply to over six billion different perspectives and the concept of ‘one size fits all’ does not exist when it comes to leadership and behavioural change.

This suggests, assuming you take what I’ve said above as plausible, that there are two skills we could develop to help us navigate this crazy world:

  1. Curiosity. The ability to question constructively our perspectives, the perspectives of others, and the environment and system we live and work in.
  2. Experimentation. The ability to try new things with an open mind and a willingness to fail and learn from those failures.

What other skills are useful to you in navigating this complex, crazy and messy world?

[1] Including my own.

[2] For more thoughts on this topic you can read a recent CLS article here.