Embracing Diversity: The Power of Varied Perspectives in Leadership

Joseph Kennedy Jr., Kathleen Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy and John F. Kennedy in Cohasset. Copyright John F. Kennedy Library Foundation found in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Scanned from the original 4" x 2 1/2" nitrate negative. Scanned by CTR on DAMS 2B.

A lesson in perspective.

In his book ‘Psychology of Money’, author Morgan Housel talks about how John F. Kennedy didn’t even know he was living through the Great Depression.

His family was wealthy during that time, so for him, The Great Depression was a time of excess consumption and expansion.

That meant buying bigger houses, having more servants, travelling more, etc.

It was only when he attended college at Harvard and read about The Great Depression in history class that he realized what the rest of the world was going through.

His perspective had completely shifted.

This is an important reminder to that our perception may be completely different than someone else’s, even though our experiences may be the same.

That is why we must constantly challenge our own beliefs and understandings, and try to consider how something may be perceived differently.

A farmer and a building developer both look at a field differently.

This is about empathy.

It’s about showing consideration and care for people, and understanding others’ perspectives.

So when making decisions, making suggestions, offering feedback, leading teams with different personalities… it’s essential to be open to alternative perspectives, thoughts, ideas, opinions, cultural differences, and so on.

It not only makes for happier employees and a healthier culture, but you may be able to make a different decision than you otherwise would – in effect, exchanging error for truth.

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