A good friend and neighbor left the following comment on one of my blog articles:
“Active listening is more than just seeking to understand what the other person is saying, it’s truly being open to be convinced of the error of our previous assumptions. This is extremely difficult given our natural inclination to seek only for evidence supporting our own assumptions and beliefs about the world.”
Great leaders listen.
Elite leaders know how to ask great questions both during expected and unexpected situations. Elite leaders use the skill of asking great questions to hear things that would otherwise never have come out. They use great questions to discover.
The best leaders I know are driven by creation and progress. They are much more interested in creation and progress than they are in being “right.”
I believe my friend nailed a key aspect of great leadership. The greatest leaders know how and when to ask great questions, listen with humility and focus and are open to everything they hear.
Thank you for reading.
We are currently hiring at our firm and are in the middle of phone and in-person interviews with multiple people. Yesterday, during a phone interview with someone I asked the question which is the title of this post, “How do you handle change?” He gave an interesting answer. He said, “I step back and widen my perspective.”
Right after I finished this interview, I jumped into my car to have lunch with Kade Janes, a dear friend and mentor. As we were catching up with each other, Kade offered a simple two part suggestion on how to handle the constant difficulties of life and business. (1) Be patient and let things play out. (2) Make courageous decisions.
My gut is telling me that these two experiences relate with each other, so I want to dive in a little bit and see where it takes us.
One reason why life and business are difficult is because of change. As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. The idea of “stepping back” seems to me to be an expression of patience. Also, pausing to seek other perspectives in many instances can require courage. Another part of the interviewee’s answer was an additional benefit to pausing is that the looming change may not feel as overwhelming because you are stopping things, at least mentally, for a bit. He also said he tries to avoid negativity and seeks optimism when faced with change.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about optimism all the time. One example he has given is the dropping your keys on the ground example. So, you are walking to your car and drop your keys on the ground. Some people would complain about having to bend down. Others might be frustrated because they are in a hurry and that is slowing them down. However, a complete opposite view could be what if by dropping your keys it slows you down by five seconds and at the next stoplight a car runs a red light five seconds before you passed through? They would have hit you at 50 mph if you hadn’t dropped your keys on the ground. I think this is fascinating to ponder on. So question, do you have the habit of viewing change as a bad thing or good thing?
I am grateful for these two interactions I had yesterday. To sum them up:
Have a great day!
Thank you for reading.
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