Opposites

Faith and doubt are opposite ends of the same spectrum, both responses to things unseen.

Faith manifests itself in eternal optimism, with an individual fully believing in the true potential of something yet to come.

Doubt manifests itself in unusual pessimism, with an individual typically expecting the worst rather than the best and preparing themselves for things not happening or not being achieved.

To succeed you need both, because the doubters sharpen those with faith, and those with faith are on an eternal quest to convert those with doubt.

Both are right at various times.

Those with faith smile when the results end up as predicted.

Those with doubt say “I told you so” when things don’t happen that those with faith feel so powerfully they will.

A history of not achieving against projected results will drive the numbers of doubters much higher in an organization than those with faith…though there will always be a remnant of those eternally optimistic.

Delivering against aggressive expectations time and time again will greatly increase the numbers of believers in an organization, potentially even at times creating more believers than doubters.

Since faith, belief and trust are all intimately tied together, it’s critically important that every organization create an imbalance on their team in the favor of believers over doubters.

Those with faith are typically quiet, fully expecting great things to happen, but patiently and quietly waiting for those expected results.

Those with doubts are typically much more subtle, starting with the whispers at the water fountains and then crescendoing to a chorus of “you got to be kidding me’s” that drown out any voices of optimism when the results repetitively over time fall way short of the aggressive expectations.

Leadership is all about creating and growing believers.

Not cult-like believers that follow you over that cliff into a perilous death below.

Instead, well founded, historically proven, trust-based believers that join together with you on that incredible quest.

What’s the right ratio of those with faith and those with doubt?

I don’t know.

But when those with grave doubts far outweigh those with great faith, the organization is at risk.

When those with well-justified faith outnumber those with perennial doubts, phenomenal things indeed occur.

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