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Find the pain, find the truth. Who gives you highly sought after straight-up answers? When you need to solve an issue or inspire a team, who do you trust to provide that uncommon and insightful perspective regarding those matters of high importance? The influence of such individuals is priceless.

Why is discovering truthful insight so difficult?

Truth is not obscure. Finding solutions to problems is fairly simple actually. But why is it seemingly so difficult? In many instances it is because the people who search for remedy generally don’t actually want the truth. In reality, many lack the courage to face the truth. Truth requires change. Fear is crippling to the feeble. As a way of protecting themselves, or remaining complacent, individuals who are adverse to change may attempt to ascertain nonthreatening information. In order to avoid undesired change, they may even seek suggestions from the ill informed.

Many people facing opportunities simply do not want to change.

I have discovered two patterns among people who face opportunity. I see people who plot the advice they seek (I will call them shoppers), and I see people who mine for truth (I will call them diggers). Shoppers browse for ideas until they hear thoughts matching their own or they plot to create ideas matching their own. Diggers shovel and sift through much earthy opinion to find the nuggets of truth.

One way of finding truthful nuggets is to complete a due diligence cycle.

Friends, family, and associates, some having only limited experience, are often among those sought out for insight due likely to trust and ease of access. The opinions of those closest to a person are either very accurate and thus seemingly painful, or sugar-coated and eventually dangerous. The following are helpful steps to isolating truth and making informed decisions:

  1. Think. Clearly state the question, concern, or opportunity up front.
  2. Identify 3-5 informed and market influential professionals to interview about the issue.
  3. Take notes. A pen or pencil can greatly enhance one’s memory.
  4. Compare findings with the information gleaned from other trusted relationships.
  5. Utilize reports, numbers, surveys, etc. to provide additional information.
  6. Weigh the relative pros and cons. Discuss the details with those closest to the issue.
  7. Decide.
  8. Test. Find a way to test the decision.

Free advice is too expensive.

True friends, family, and loyal associates have the end result in mind. I understand that many insightful and course correcting perspectives can originate in those closest to us. They will typically disclose, to the best of their ability, the truth. Be mindful that some sources of information will not disclose the brutal truths as they relate to you or your company because they may believe the truth to be unkind in certain circumstances. In actuality, kindness and truth are traveling companions.

Lead with individuals who define accurately the rough edges necessary to smoothing them out. Hold yourself and your team members accountable for the necessary changes and require due diligence in the process of that change. To grow, find the pain.

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