Life is short. I’ve heard this phrase repeated numerous times throughout my life by those who are often times several years my senior. More often than not, I find myself nodding with affirmation or defaulting to express an acceptable smile, yet sooner or later, I’d find myself in a position of teaching this short yet profound statement to someone else.
Recently, I met a young man in his late 20’s, and we began to discuss a series of business principles, which would significantly impact his professional career. His perspective on life and problem solving was radically different than mine. The longer he spoke, the more I was convinced that he was situationally unaware of the basics of decision-making principles—cause and effect. Soon afterwards, I offered wise counsel in opposition to his actions. Nevertheless, his response was undeniably pompous as he exclaimed, “I got this.”
By this point, I began to imagine where many disagreements go wrong. My mind began to explore all the unimaginable angles of communicating with others, particularly those in whom we simply do not agree. Perceptions become reality. Without question or reason, we subscribe to an untested “perceived truth” that our age and/or talent gives us a unique qualification to untapped wisdom, influence, and insight—this is a lie.
Additionally, we fall into the trap that convincing others to think like us or be like us is the primary purpose of our existence, and we base this untested “perceived reality” on the age old idea that “he who yells the LOUDest, must be the RIGHTest.” This too is a lie.
Ultimately, we fail to effectively communicate with others because we want to be heard far more than we desire to listen. What then shall we say about the character and motives of our hearts? If we believe ourselves to be teachable, how then do we give instruction to others—Listen.
Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” NIV
Listening doesn’t mean agreement, nor does it mean endorsement. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Sadly, there is a prevailing wisdom among many throughout the United States who believe that anything old is useless and therefore worthless. This idea is not only short sighted but rooted in selfishness, arrogance, and immaturity.
Life truly is short. My grandfather modeled this life lesson to me many years ago, and instilled in me a desire to inspire this generation with truth. The right question is, “how far are you willing to go to know truth?”
Listen, leadership without humility is just plain arrogant and stupid. No one wants to follow someone who believes he or she is so intelligent that everyone else merely exists to agree with their ideas and concepts. The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.
Until next time, Be encouraged.
I speak to thousands of young adults, men, women, and couples annually on leadership, relationships, and integrity. Sometimes thinking “you’ve got this” is the very thing that’s gotten you into trouble in the first place, and you need help from someone honorable with a right perspective to help guide your steps. If you’d like more information on this topic or how to bring me in as a speaker for your next event, please contact me.
In the meantime, I encourage you to subscribe to my Tribe/Newsletter on my homepage. Post your comment below, Share my blogs with your friends on social media, and visit my website often for daily inspiration. Until next time, Be encouraged.
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