—Talent Is Never Enough
PRACTICE USING FEWER WORDS TODAY AND GENUINELY LISTENING TO OTHERS.
LEARN TO LISTEN
The first step in teachability is learning to listen.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak and one to hear.”
Being a good listener helps us to know people better, to learn what they have learned, and to show them that we value them as individuals.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the most teachable presidents.
When he began his career, he was not a great leader. But he grew into his presidency. He was always an avid listener, and as president, he opened the doors of the White House to anyone who wanted to express an opinion to him. He called these frequent sessions his “public opinion baths.”
He also asked nearly everyone he met to send him ideas and opinions. As a result, he received hundreds of letters every month—many more than other presidents had received in the past. From this practice, he learned much. And even if he didn’t embrace the arguments, he learned more about how the letter writers thought, and he used that knowledge to help him craft his policies and persuade others to adopt them.
As you go through each day, remember that you can’t learn if you’re always talking. As the old saying goes,
There’s a reason you have one mouth but two ears.
Listen to others, remain humble, and you will begin to learn things every day that can help you to expand your talent.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding
- “If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.
- “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.
Karl A. Menniger
- “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.
Leaders Leading Leaders
• Teach a prospective leader how to do what he needs to do to lead.
• Give him a mission, so he can know where he is meant to go even when you aren’t around to tell him.
• Reward and praise the kind of initiative you want, regardless of the outcome.
Daily Storytelling Time
The pencil’s tale
An old pencil maker took his newest pencil aside, just before he was about to pack him into a box. Imagining the little fellow as a person he recalled a few things about the pencil.
“There are five things you need to know,” he said to his pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember these five things – never forget them – and you will become the best pencil you can be!
“The first thing is to remember that you will be able to do many great things, but only if you put yourself in someone else’s hands.
“From time to time you will experience a painful sharpening, but remember that this will make you a better pencil.
“Also, keep in mind that you will be able to correct any mistakes you might make along the way.
“And the most important part of you is what’s on the inside.
“And remember this, as well, upon every surface that you are used, you must leave your mark. No matter what else happens, you must continue to write.”
It seemed the pencil listened to him and promised he would remember these five things so that he could live his life with heart and purpose.