After having driven eight hours from Rockland County to Albany a few hours after Hurricane Irene smacked the region – a drive that normally takes two hours – I had the opportunity to reflect on the destruction and all of the rebuilding that will need to take place. I made a Facebook post:

“The loss of life during Irene was tragic, as was the loss of property and many longstanding historic treasures. However, disasters usually create economic growth and I hope that good will come out of this one in the form of spending and job growth for those that need it. Good CAN come from bad.”

Within a few minutes one of my Facebook friends posted:

“Sure. Except that if you do the ROI on the LOSSES vs “growth”, I’m not sure its a win-win”

Screw You

We then proceeded to go back and forth several times, at which point I posted that we’ll have to agree to disagree.  There was a conflict between us.

I use the phrase “Conflict creates evolution” and I truly believe this.  Conflict doesn’t need to be a negative thing.  While most commonly accepted definitions of conflict state that it is a serious disagreement or argument, negativity isn’t introduced until someone includes emotion.

If you surround yourself by people who agree with what you say, your initial idea will be the one implemented.  If you have people around you that play devil’s advocate, and you incorporate their thoughts and concepts into your idea, what you put into place will be a stronger and better version of what your original thought was.

Part of your job should be to keep the emotion out of conflict and turn it into something helpful and progressive.  Disagreements are not a bad thing.  Conflict does create evolution.

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Chris is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at Internet Marketing Ninjas where he manages M&A activity, legal work, and also focuses on the use of technology and other solutions to lead innovation and growth. Prior to this, Chris led the sale of his $10mil information technology company, twice an Inc500 fastest growing company in the US, to an investment banking firm in NYC. He has a strong passion for sailing, and had the opportunity to spend two years travelling from Lake Champlain to the southern Bahamas and back with his family.

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