The Importance of Dissent

“A cabinet which should agree at once on every such question would be no better or safer than one counselor.” – William Seward (Lincoln’s Secretary of State)

My personal tendency is to seek alignment, whether as a leader, amongst my peers or with superiors.

There is excellent value in tactful dissent, as I was reminded during my study of Lincoln via Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “Team of Rivals”. Lincoln surrounded himself with the brightest minds he could find, even if some betrayed him in the past or had differing opinions.

It isn’t just being argumentative, it is a way to provide another point of view and challenge the process.

The challenge to myself, and to you, this week is to pair the powerful combination of rapport building with tactful dissent.

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