Dr. Jeff Moore // #LeadershipThursday // www.ptonice.com
In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, ICE CEO Jeff Moore discusses the concept of excessive humility and being overly open-minded, discussing how it can hinder individuals from taking action and being useful. While acknowledging the importance and benefits of open-mindedness in considering different perspectives and possibilities, Jeff also points out that excessive open-mindedness can render one unable to take stances or make decisions, rendering it useless.
Jeff emphasizes the need to strike a balance between open-mindedness and the ability to take a stance. He cautions against being so open-minded that one loses their ability to make decisions and take action. Excessive open-mindedness, according to Jeff, can lead to a lack of direction and clarity, making it difficult to make progress or contribute effectively.
Similarly, Jeff addresses the issue of excessive humility, particularly in relation to feeling inadequate to take action due to a lack of knowledge. While it is important to acknowledge and respect the limits of one’s knowledge, Jeff argues that excessive humility can be detrimental. Constantly waiting for more information or certainty before taking action, they assert, can result in paralysis by analysis and prevent individuals from being useful in their professional careers.
Jeff encourages individuals to have a level of humility that allows them to act even in the presence of uncertainty. Jeff highlights the importance of being willing to make choices and decisions, even if they may not always be perfect. By embracing the imperfection of action and remaining focused, individuals can gather data and fill the gaps in their knowledge. This approach allows for continuous improvement and growth while avoiding the pitfall of doing nothing.
Take a listen to the podcast episode or read the full transcription below.
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00:00 JEFF MOORE
Okay, team, what’s up? Welcome to Thursday. Welcome back to the PT on Ice Daily Show. I am Dr. Jeff Moore, currently serving as a CEO of Ice, and always thrilled to be here on Leadership Thursday. I cannot wait to jump into this topic about choice and the need to make one. Before we do, it’s Gut Check Thursday. Let’s not ignore the workout. Let’s talk about it. Let’s take it on head on. It’s a doozy. We’ve got five rounds for time, okay? We’ve got 12 handstand pushups, nine toes-to-bar in six squat cleans. Okay, it’s gonna be at 155, 105, so a little bit heavier than we usually encounter our cleans in Gut Check Thursday, but the volume’s a little bit lower there on that set. Five rounds of that for time, bang that out, you’re probably gonna have some rest on the handstand push-ups and the heavier squat cleans. Try to keep moving steady, make sure you tag Ice Physio, hashtag Ice Train, we love tracking those videos. Get it in, it’s Thursday, get the work done. All right, upcoming courses, I want to highlight CMFA Live this week. We’ve got Newark, California coming up. I think there’s only two spots left in that course. That’s with Zach Long and crew. It’s going to be September 30th, October 1st, so in a couple of weeks over in California. We’ve got Linwood, Washington coming up October 7th, 8th, and then down in Hoover, Alabama, November 4th, 5th. So if you want to get out on the road, learn all things barbell movements, get into some basic gymnastics, talk about programming, demystify a lot of things around resistance training. That is the course you need to be in. It is, of course, part of our CMFA certification, which includes Essential Foundations, Advanced Concepts, also known as Level 1 and Level 2 on the fitness athlete side. And, of course, during that live course, you get testing in person if you want to obtain that certification. So hit that up. PTonICE.com is where all that good stuff lives.
02:16 YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE
Let’s talk about the topic. You have to choose. Team, it has always driven me nuts. From the very, very first entrance into my professional career, this comment or idea of more research is needed has always driven me crazy. Now, I don’t mean from the actual research side. Like, I get the idea of why that statement is made, at the end of papers, like, hey, to get to a certain level of statistical significance or confidence, we have to have more data, right? Totally understand where that comes from in the research world. But the ridiculous incorporation or discussion of that into patient care has always blown my mind, right? So you see so many folks saying that, we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know, as though we can’t do anything. This is absurd from a patient care perspective. Like, I always imagine these people, like, are you really sitting in front of your 8 a.m. and saying, hey Lynn, I know your shoulder’s really bugging you. Problem is, the jury’s still a little bit out on the best rehab for this until we know, we’re gonna pause here, I’m gonna have you come back. Like, are you really doing this all day, every day, every 30 minutes with a new patient? Of course not, it’s absurd. To be of any use, we must decide and act in the presence of uncertainty. This is true literally everywhere in our lives. It is obviously true in patient care, right? We’ve got to do something for Lynn, right? We know it’s not gonna be perfect, but we’ve gotta act with the knowledge we have and do our best. We have got to decide and act in the presence of uncertainty. And this goes so far beyond patient care. This is true in every aspect of our professional journeys and lives. We’ve gotta be willing to say, we’ve gotta be willing to choose to say, From what I’ve learned and experienced thus far, I currently believe X. I don’t care what domain you’re talking about. I don’t care if you’re talking about business, sports, hobbies, patient care, nothing moves forward with waiting. I was thinking about this last weekend. So for those of you who haven’t followed my recent journey, I’m getting into enduro motorcycling, right? So I’m signing up for some races next year and I’m terrible at it. So this weekend I’m up in the mountains and I’m flying down this trail, moderately out of control per usual, and having to choose lines in real time, right? So you’re coming up on obstacles, going relatively fast, thinking I’ve got to do something in real time in this moment. I have to choose. Now, knowing full well in that moment that if I was to go back to that same trail two years from now, I have no doubt that I would choose a different and by different I mean better line because I’ll be better at the activity. But that does not mean right now I don’t have to choose. I just have to choose, thinking with the experience that I have, what is the best way to move forward, knowing full well it isn’t going to be perfect. In a couple years when I come back, I’ll choose something different. This is the process. Just because you know down the road, you will know more and do better, doesn’t mean right now you do nothing. not in patient care, not in business, not in sport. Yet, people are always trying to remain neutral and I want to discuss a few of the reasons why they do this and I want to challenge them a little bit. So, number one, people are often proud of themselves for being open-minded. What I would say is excessively open-minded. Being open-minded is great. Always remaining vigilant that better options are out there and keeping an eye open that you’re not missing them because you’re so tunnel-visioned, that’s great. But being excessively open-minded to the point where You say, yeah, I’m open to that, I’m open to that, I’m open to that, I’m open to that, I’m open to everything.
06:23 “AT SOME POINT, BEING SO OPEN-MINDED IS HAVING NO MIND AT ALL”
Well, at some point, being that open-minded is having no mind at all. And having no mind at all isn’t useful to anybody. Being open-minded is great. Being excessively open-minded to the point where you can’t take any stances is useless. And you’ve gotta be careful of which side of that line you’re on. Number two is excessive humility about what we don’t know yet. People love to say, yeah, but we aren’t sure yet. We will never be sure. That’s the nature of the game. So while, again, some of that humility is useful, so you’re not excessively betting on something that you truly don’t have the requisite data for yet, understanding that we are never gonna hit a point where we say, we are absolutely certain about this, Knowing that and owning that will allow you to act even in the presence of some level of uncertainty. So this excessive humility of, we never know enough to do anything, again, simply isn’t useful. Number three. People don’t wanna be seen as falling into a guru camp, and there’s some good reasons for that. Looking back historically, and again, speaking to physical therapy, it’s the area I know the best, there have certainly been plenty of extremists in guru camps that have led the collective astray, no doubt, but don’t be one of those. You don’t have to be an extremist in a camp to go in and say, hey, I think most of what’s going on here is pretty useful. There’s no reason you can’t go into it with that frame of mind. But people are so afraid of being labeled, of being in this camp, or that camp, or that camp, that they stay, again, doing nothing. And unfortunately, doing nothing doesn’t serve anybody. Number four, they don’t want to step on toes. Once you say, hey, I believe this, you are naturally going to rub some people the wrong way because now you’ve committed a bit. You’ve said, I kind of looked at everything that I could and I’m going to go this direction. I think this makes the most sense. Well, other people that made other commitments are going to be rubbed the wrong way by that. If that is not happening, you are not doing anything of merit. If you are never rubbing anybody the wrong way, I can promise you, you aren’t moving anything forward in a relevant fashion. So reflection point number one of this episode is are you doing that? In the past couple years, have you rubbed some folks the wrong way? I mean, give this some serious thought. Like really think, have your stances, have your actions bothered some folks? If that answer is no, you’re not standing for anything. And if you’re not standing for anything, you’re not being useful. So just give yourself a little pause today and really think, like, am I committing enough that people who have made contrary decisions are a bit bothered by that? That should be a constant in your life. As you’re working through decisions and emerging and making choices, some people aren’t gonna love those, and if you aren’t feeling some of that pushback, I think you’re holding yourself back and trusting yourself and making commitments that actually allow you to decide and move things forward. But the number one reason is I look at folks who are forever trying to stay in this kind of neutral ground that I really feel this static posture doesn’t get anybody anywhere is because they don’t want to be wrong. They don’t want to be wrong. They don’t want to look back in two years and know the line they took on that motorcycle trail was the worst one they could have chosen. They don’t want to be wrong. They’re perfectionists. Team action is always imperfect. Action is always imperfect, especially in hindsight. There is not a single action you are ever gonna take that you’re gonna look back with five more years of data and say that was perfect across every domain. That’s never going to happen. So if you can’t embrace that you’re gonna be wrong, at least in some percentage, every single time you make a choice, You are forever going to be paralyzed. It will be paralysis by analysis for the rest of your professional, business, patient care career. You’ve got to get over that. You’ve got to embrace that every single action will always be looked back as imperfect, and that is a beautiful part of the process. That’s what allows you, as you recognize that, to alter it, shape it, and make it better. This is the process.
10:55 “IF YOU CAN’T CHOOSE IMPERFECT ACTION, YOU CAN’T CHOOSE ACTION. PERIOD.”
But if you can’t choose imperfect action, you can’t choose action, period. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to be useful as you’re moving forward. Bottom line is this, the people that I’ve observed who have been the most useful, and of course, the most useful meaning the most successful, because these two things tend to go together. You provide a lot of value, you’re useful, success follows, are always those who took really deep dives. They said, I think this makes a bunch of sense, I’m going all in. Like I’m gonna learn as much about this as I can, I’m gonna try to replicate it, I’m gonna try to leverage it, I’m gonna try to use it. But as they’re doing that, they’re aware and okay with acknowledging the shortcomings of that model. So that they can in real time be seeking out solutions to fill those gaps. They’re learning through action, which necessarily followed decisions, choosing. You have to do anything besides nothing. You have to do anything besides nothing, because if you don’t get out there and go, you can’t evaluate the shortcomings, because you aren’t doing anything. The people that I see that act with the most, again, it’s not arrogance, it’s not even confidence, it’s out of necessity to act. They know they have to say, I know this isn’t perfect, but I have to go anyways. Those people that are willing to be in that space, first of all, provide the most value, and absolutely learn and refine at the highest rate of speed, simply because the data’s now coming back at them because they’re out there. And because they’re out there, it’s a bit vulnerable and emotional, and you tend to learn a ton in those phases. Now, all of that being said, Your decisions should always change. This is a critical part of this conversation, right? Your decisions should always change with emerging data. If they aren’t, you’re just being arrogant. And now you’re falling into the other side of the problem, which is not having one eye open. If your decisions aren’t changing consistently, if that’s not just a part of your growth and process, where you look back and say, ooh, shoot, should’ve done, now that I know better, I’m definitely gonna do better because that was imperfect. If you are not regularly doing that, you are also going about this process wrong, but on the other side, right? Remaining blind and over-trusting your actions. So reflection point number two of the episode is have they? In the past couple years, Have you reversed course on a couple of key philosophies, beliefs, decisions, directions? If not, I think you’re erring on the other side, where you’re not keeping one eye open. You think your action’s perfect. You aren’t aware of the imperfection and looking for the gaps. You’re going in blind. This is every bit as errant, maybe even more dangerously, than the former. In this case, not only are you probably not being as useful as possible, but you’re probably leading folks excessively astray by not being aware of what’s emerging. So reflection point number two is are you every couple years realizing something you believe strongly had some pretty significant flaws and are you willing to incorporate emerging data to change them? Team. If you aren’t willing to embrace that action’s always imperfect, you’re never gonna choose, decide, and move forward. If you don’t do that, you can never get the data that fills the gaps of what we don’t know that you’re so concerned about, it’s holding you back from action to begin with. Trust that your intentions are good. Remain focused. Humble in the face of everything emerging, so you’re not totally just tunnel visioned in one direction. Allow that to shape your actions, but make sure that you’re actually playing the game. So when you get information, you can modulate in real time, forever become better, but always stay away from the pitfall of doing nothing.
14:49 “PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO ENSURE YOU’RE USELESS YOUR ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL CAREER.”
Paralysis by analysis is the only way to ensure you’re useless your entire professional career. Do anything besides nothing, stay humble, be ever evolving, but be willing to choose. You’ll be wrong. I guarantee it. Me too. Let’s be wrong bravely and let’s adapt in real time. You have to choose. I hope it makes sense. Hit me up with questions, comments. Thanks for being here on Leadership Thursday. PTOnIce.com where everything lives. We’ll see you next week. Cheers, team.
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