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Testing the Assumptions

It’s good to test the assumptions and see how well your new idea or big bold vision works. Forming this important leadership habit to pause and test assumptions provides opportunity to think differently, anticipate potential reactions and challenges, and understand other perspectives. Seeking counsel from people whose skills and knowledge you respect can provide benefit of different perspectives for better decision making.

Ancient wisdom says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

While it’s tempting to trust your own instincts and avoid the risk of someone poking holes in your new idea or big bold vision, it’s easier to patch it up when you know where the holes are, so test the assumptions and be willing to learn – “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other” (JFK).

Okay, are you ready to test your assumptions?

Here’s a simple puzzle to try:

“If a baseball and a bat cost $1.10 together, and the bat costs $1.00 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?

Was your answer that the ball cost 10 cents?

If so, you’d be wrong.

Here’s the solution:

Although $1.00 + $0.10 does equal $1.10, if you take $1.00 – $0.10 you get $0.90, but the problem requires that the bat costs $1 more than the ball. So, the ball must cost $0.05, and the bat must cost $1.05 since $1.05 + $0.05 = $1.10”

Key Takeaways for Testing the Assumptions:

  • Don’t overestimate your own knowledge and skill – stay humble and be willing to learn

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for honest feedback from those whose skills and knowledge you respect

  • Push past the fear of criticism or rejection

  • Improve upon your great idea or big bold vision – make it better

Surfer riding wave

© 2015 Copyright Dr. LauraAnn Migliore

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