The old adage of “sticking to your guns” is one that many perceive as a characteristic that aligns with steadfast leadership. There are certain circumstances where this style of leadership should prevail, however in more general terms, and across industries, fields, and disciplines, it tends to be a misunderstood weakness.
I was recently reading an article in Bloomberg Businessweek by David J. Lynch on how the Ivey League, and more specifically Harvard, has added to Mitt Romney’s success in the presidential leadership race. One line in the publication, a quote by Mitch Kurz, read; “shifting positions on issues to adapt to new conditions derives from the unsentimental brand of analysis he learned at [Harvard Business School]“.
What struck me so deeply about this sentence was the context it was placed in: politics. The political world is fraught with people “sticking to their guns”, through thick and thin, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The term “flip-flopping” on issues in politics is synonymous with the “kiss of death”. I found that it was unusual that others were praising Mitt’s ability to adapt to the conditions as it were. (more…)