Last night I spent some time on the phone with my good friend Jacob brainstorming with him some ideas for his upcoming presentation at the Coworking EU conference. Near the end of our conversation (which yielded some pretty exciting directions and possibilities for him to fill 20 minutes with), he said something to the effect of,
“I’m struggling how to present these ideas without my bias…” I made it a point to remind him that he was invited to speak publicly as a subject matter expert, not as an objective journalist.
While I admire journalists for their ability to separate themselves from their work and at least attempt to remain objective, I feel that too often, smart people forget that people look to them because of their biases.
Bias is simply a tendency based on perspective, and perspective comes from experience. The fact is, if you have any intention of being a true leader, you NEED perspective, you NEED a stance, and therefore you NEED biases.
Being aware of your biases is an important protection to have from getting yourself in hot water (or to help you get into hot water if that’s your inclination), but it should never keep you from yielding your greatest weapon: lessons learned from actions taken or observed.