Strong Opinions, Weakly Held

- May 14, 2013


Express your ideas with conviction, but be willing to drop them and adopt better ideas as they come along. The best leaders and organizations are those that are pragmatic. Here at Filestack, we say “Strong Opinions, Weakly Held” – a concise and effective way of encouraging active debate and the meritocracy of ideas.

“Strong Opinions” means two things: that you should express your ideas with conviction, and that those opinions should be strong opinions, supported by evidence and logical. If you don’t express your opinion strongly, it may not stick in the listener’s head as well as an overall weaker idea that someone else expresses with more zeal.

“Weakly Held” means that if a legitimately better idea is presented, embrace it and change your stance as soon as possible. This is often referred to as “check your ego at the door” – there is no honor in continuing to fight for an opinion just because you expressed it previously.

It is not uncommon for people here to be passionately arguing a feature, a design, an architecture, and for one person to suddenly stop and say “oh – yeah, you’re right. Cool. What’s next?” This can be unnerving to people who experience it for the first time, but it’s been very effective in sifting out the best ideas and facilitating a culture of health arguments and deep mutual respect.

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