Fake news! This phrase has been all over various types of Internet media lately. Being able to determine real news and facts from false information is an important skill. Good leaders must assimilate massive amounts of information at times, and doing some independent research to verify facts and data is always a good idea.
Getting lost in the world wide webs
Have you ever wondered who starred in a particular movie, or when a book was originally published, or what your gallbladder really does? The Internet hosts a wealth of information, but consumer beware! Some of the information you see may not actually be true. How can you distinguish between fact and fiction?
You need to learn to do your own research. Everything you read on Facebook is not necessarily the truth—from your great aunt’s posts about her dogs and how wonderful they are to political postings about who said what, supposedly. It’s common sense to do a little research and determine what really is the truth, and what is a big balloon full of hot air.
Curiosity didn’t stop Alice, so why should you
be any different?
Even though there are false truths out there, just like Alice, you should embrace this vast and fabulous world around you. Curiosity keeps the soul young, and in the new Imagination Age, your leadership skills can be perked up with a healthy shot of curiosity. Innovation and creativity do not follow those who are pedantic and set in their ways.
While your life (hopefully!) isn’t as crazy as Alice’s adventures, there is still so much out there to discover. The Internet puts the entire universe at your fingertips. You can look at images from Hubble taken millions of lightyears away, and you can see your own garden on Google Earth. Let your curiosity and sense of wonder guide you.
Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
As a leader, you likely have to determine facts and fiction all day long. Whether it’s overly optimistic quarterly reports, to who-said-what disputes, your brain has to make quick determinations about what is real and not real. The Internet, unfortunately, is no different. Making these decisions separates the gullible and foolish from the knowledgeable and well-read.
The ‘what-ifs’ are what make life fun, and exciting!
If you don’t cultivate a work environment that supports looking for the ‘what-ifs,’ your employees are never going to be able to work at their maximum levels. People have to feel comfortable taking risks, and venturing into the unknown.
The can give you the tools and information you need to create this creative and innovative business atmosphere. Allowing yourself to spend some time researching things that interest you, no matter what they are, is good for your brain. Neuroscience has shown that curiosity stimulates the release of dopamine, which allows your mind to overcome the fear of the unknown.
While your adventures may not lead you to a Cheshire cat or a mad queen, you should still make an effort to cultivate your own curiosity. This desire to know more, and then be more, will stimulate innovation and help create the kind of office environment that people can thrive in. It’s never too late to fall down the rabbit hole, but just in case, maybe set the alarm to help you get back out, and beware
of false trails!