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what Conviction is, and what it is NOT

A manager must have conviction in his /her mission, objectives, values, and ways.  Conviction can be confused with poor management behaviors, and here are examples:

– Conviction is not about being rigid, or stubborn.  On the contrary.  Conviction means the belief in your God-given ability to analyze a situation and choose what you believe to be your best alternative.

– Conviction does not mean that you cannot be wrong.  But it means that you accept the probability of being wrong and having the guts and faith to move on and accept that possibility.

– Conviction does not mean that you do not change your mind.  It means that you have the guts to do so when you believe it is warranted.

– Conviction does not mean refusing the advice of others, but it does mean that you do not take it blindly and let others lead you into doing things you believe are wrong.

– Conviction does not mean being always right.  But it does mean that you are not afraid of being wrong, and willing to take responsibility for mistakes and apologizing when due.

– Conviction does not mean arrogantly shunning people who honestly come to you with advice.  It means to empathize and appreciate their candor and their sharing of their views.  It means thanking them for caring.

– Conviction does not mean convincing others of your point of view.  Conviction is knowing that you do not have to convince anyone of anything.  People make their own choices.  Your job is to help them see things from different perspectives.

Without conviction a manager is whimsical; following what others say not because he believes what they are saying is right, but because he is afraid of being wrong, and prefers to blame others for the mistakes he makes.  A manager with conviction will move on a decision and take responsibility for it.

Project Managers especially need to have conviction, as projects are always unique and require taking some un-chartered paths surrounded with uncertainties.

Managers with conviction are assets to their companies.  They have style, panache, and the determination to see their visions through.

Conviction in dictionary is defined as “A firmly held belief or opinion.”  However, in business life there is no such short definition that does the word its justice.  The best way to describe it is by how it is manifested in the business world.  For example: when others come to you explaining why the path you are taking does not work.  They tell you many reasons why it will fail.  Then, they advise you on what is the right thing to do.  You listen carefully, take note, thank them for their input.  Then, you sit down revisit the options, check your emotions, what they are telling you.  Then you check your ego to see where it is leaning and why.  Then you check how much of your decision is logic, how much emotions, how much ego, and how much fear.  Then, based on all the information available but independently from any of it, you make your choice.   That is conviction.

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