The Gift of Naiveté

Image source: Andrew McAlpine, Photographer.

Image source: Andrew McAlpine, Photographer.

I read this article last week…

The Counterintuitive Secret To Pandora’s Success

I can’t think of a more poignant or direct example of the gift of naiveté.

Generally we look down upon naiveté, particularly in business.

It’s viewed as  a weakness, a shortcoming, a downfall.

But as told in the article above, the founder of Pandora has reminded us of the lesson that naiveté can be our friend.

Why is naiveté a gift?

Because it stops us listening to the naysayers.

The voices, even those which come from within us, which say –

You can’t do it.
It can’t be done.
You’re too young, too inexperienced, too naive

Says who?

If Richard Branson had listened to those voices, he wouldn’t be the uber-successful billionaire he is today.

He launched a national magazine at the age of 15 instead of focusing on his studies.
He started a record store when he knew nothing about retail.
He created an airline he knew nothing about.

Some may call him crazy – in fact, I’m sure they did.

But Branson used naiveté to his advantage. He did it anyway. He took risks. He knew when to walk away. And he learned from his mistakes.

Naiveté says…

I can…
What if…?
Who says we can’t…
Wouldn’t it be great if we….?

Let’s just do it.

Sure, naiveté is rose tinted.  But I think a little dose of rose tinted is what’s needed in the world today.

It’s the realm of what if creativity.
Of possibility instead of limitation.
Of expansiveness instead of constriction.

It’s what starts journeys.

And I’m all for more of that.

Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small. -Tim Ferriss

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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