Why Questioning the Status Quo Builds Better Leaders to “Think Different”

There’s a post that I read a while back on Inc. that keeps coming back to me. “Why Great Leaders Question the Status Quo: Being a thoughtful, creative leader means moving beyond the confines of tradition,” was written by Micah Solomon.

We all know of great thinkers and business leaders who question the status quo, and Solomon cites the late Steve Jobs of Apple as a prime example. The indelibly memorable “Think Different” advertising campaign that helped bring Apple back from the brink in 1997 completely highlighted the fact that Apple products and its leader were different from the rest of the world. That campaign highlighted notable inventors (Thomas Edison), leaders (Mahatma Gandhi) and trailblazers (Muhammad Ali and Martha Graham) with the tagline “Think Different.”

The idea of thinking differently implies questioning the status quo and imagining how things can be different, and ultimately better. But Solomon’s blog post isn’t about famous people who have imagined things differently. Instead, his focus is on everyday people who challenge the status quo, specifically the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Istanbul who has introduced changes at his hotel that have greatly increased guest satisfaction.

Solomon points out that while Ritz-Carlton has “3,000 standards that the brand has developed over the years… I’m going to argue that you can learn just as much from the lower-profile, but just as creative business leaders who are helping their companies to thrive every day.”

Our healthcare industry is rapidly changing, and leaders of these ever-expanding organizations are seeking new and better ways to deliver better, more efficient care. But the great ideas aren’t going to all come from the C-suite or management consultants. We can win too by engaging and listening to everyone who is a part of our organizations who have great ideas every day.

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