I have often seen the following behaviour from people I have worked with:
My ideas : good
Other people's ideas : bad
Obviously this is not clever, and is largely driven by hubris. All too often, an egotistical leader will dismiss an idea based upon its source, rather than its content. That is a massive blind spot.
A leader should never "grudgingly" agree with someone, and if they feel that way, its a wake-up call to them that they are biased against the person that made the suggestion.
A leader cannot afford this level of resentment, and should swallow their pride. Good ideas don't care about you, and they don't care about what you think of the person suggesting it.
Put simply, if I had an arch enemy (which I don't!), and person had a great idea, I would immediately accept and implement it.
I genuinely don't care about the source: good ideas can exist independently of politics, in fact they must.
I work with a lot of software engineers. In terms of the common personality traits I see, they are all very intelligent, hard-working, and creative at problem solving. Actually they are a joy to work with.
Sometimes however my team mates can become too invested in an idea, a technology, or a process. It often reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from the movie "The Croupier", staring Clive Owen, when the protagonist Jack says:
"Hang on tightly, let go lightly."
Jack (played by Clive Owen) becomes addicted to watching gamblers lose their money each night in the London casino where he works as a croupier. You could say they are refusing to let go of a bad idea, and it is literally costing them.
A gambler on a losing streak is a great metaphor for holding onto a bad idea for too long: they believe they need just one more roll, or one more good hand, to enable them to change their losing streak and recover their losses to date. It's an addictive cycle.
This toxic cycle is often referred to as a "sunk cost fallacy":
"the idea that a company or organisation is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of money, time, or effort in it, even when continuing is not the best thing to do" 
It is otherwise known as "throwing good money after bad". It's a trap, and is irrational. A person or team stuck in this trap feels over-committed to a certain strategy, to the extent that they feel unable to stop, even though they know it is harmful.
Stopping a bad strategy early is optimal, late is bad, but not at all could be fatal.
Sunk costs are cheaper when you stop spending.
To the leaders listening to this, I would like to ask you a question: do you trust your team?
If your team are on your side, they will tell you when they think you are going in the wrong direction. They may have some insight that you lack, some experience deeper than yours, or some instincts that are stronger than yours.
Why would you ignore that?
The people around you who care about you will speak up when they see you about to make a mistake. These are your "chorus": if they are all saying the same thing at the same time, then you must listen to them. If you decide to do your own thing regardless, that's up to you, but at the very least you should listen.
Conversely, people who do not wish to see you succeed will keep quiet when they see you about to make a mistake. Again, this shows you why your chorus are largely on your side.
As a leader, if nobody is in my chorus I start to get paranoid: either everything I am doing is great and everyone agrees with me (but this is highly unlikely!), people are too afraid to speak up, or people are happy to see me fall flat on my face after I fail.
None of those situations are desirable: a lack of people speaking up is a major red flag.
In the movie "The Croupier" I mentioned earlier, Jack never interrupted the gamblers losing their money, as he was happy to see them fail. He had contempt for them.
Too much emotional investment in an idea is bad. Remember that an idea cannot love you back.
To be a leader, you must be lead by your head firstly, and your heart secondly, especially when it comes to ideas that may no longer be valid. Your attachment to an idea should be based upon reason, and evidence.
As soon as a better idea comes along, you must drop the old one. There is no emotion in this, instead it is dictated by logic.
The only exception is where other people are potentially going to be impacted upon: remember your empathy and your principals. There may be instances when continuing to do something illogical may be required to protect your team mates, until a better alternative becomes available.
I like to passionately defend my ideas in a debate, right up to the time that:
Then I drop my idea immediately, applying the "hang on tightly, let go lightly" principal, with no ego or other emotional attachment to that.
I had to learn to do this, as it does not come naturally, by arguing well beyond a reasonably point in the past to defend my ideas just because they were "mine", therefore I felt protective towards them.
It reminds me of another more famous quote from the economist John Maynard Keynes:
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
I think we can all practice that.
Lets recap what we have covered today:
I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I look forward to covering the next topic in this series with you! In the interim if you want to follow me online, you can find my blog at TechLeader.pro, or follow me on Twitter @TechLeaderPro.
Thanks for your time, take care and have a great week!
 : My original blog post on this topic (2019) - https://techleader.pro/a/524-Hang-on-tightly,-let-go-lightly
 : Sunk cost fallacy - https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/sunk-cost-fallacy
File details: 13.6 MB MP3, 09 mins 27 secs duration.
Title music is "Still Cold" by Crystal Shards, licensed via www.epidemicsound.com
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