I have no shortage of strong opinions, but I have tried all my life to be a bridge builder. – Bill Hybels
Bridge building is such an important leadership skill to develop. When leaders can build bridges and connect people with no regard for race, religion, political views, or personality types, it can be a most rewarding endeavor. Unfortunately, preconceived notions about people can prevent authentic relationships from developing and thus bridge building becomes nothing more than a good idea. Most leaders I know, including myself, have strong opinions. But when those strong opinions get in the way of relationships then we become isolated and only gather in flocks with like-minded people. While that is all good and well your circle of friends is smaller, your world view is narrower, and your sphere of influence is marginalized. You don’t have to compromise your opinions in order to befriend a person who thinks otherwise. Be approachable, be respectful, but most of all be authentic. Your opinions and values are what you will carry with you for a lifetime, and regardless of who comes and goes in your life, those beliefs will always guide you. Are you a builder?