Look, Listen, then speak, or not, fool.

2 02 2015

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” ~Colin Powell

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” ~Mark Twain

The leadership tip that runs through both of these quotes is that you must listen in order to succeed.  We are born with 2 ears and one mouth, and we should use them in a similar proportion.  Don’t forget the eyes, as you can sometimes see the frustration in the body language of your team members who either are not getting their point across, or are being stepped on by someone who  is louder or of a higher rank.

Before you can “cut through argument, debate and doubt”, you have to listen to arguments and debates. Give the frustrated, quiet ones a chance to speak their mind before making your decision.   After looking, listening and understanding,  you may, if you’re wise/lucky, be able to offer a solution that not only is elegant in its simplicity, and you can avoid being thought of as the fool who just spouts orders without understanding the big picture.

Speaking of doubt…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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