How Not To Be A Fool

November 7, 2011

“You can learn something from anyone, even a fool, even if the only thing you learn is how not to be a fool.”Louis L’Amour.  Now I am not sure if that quote is exact, but it is how I remember it. Growing up, the western and historical novels by Mr. L’Amour taught me much about our country and its people, about courage and sacrifice, plus much more. Some of his quotes have really stuck with me such as the one above, especially the ones having to do with leadership.

A key question for you – Are you teachable?  We all know about the dizzying rate of change that is just a fact of life now. We know that as leaders we are to be learners, but that is more difficult than it first appears.

Sometimes things are moving so fast, that if an area of our life / work seems to be ok, we don’t want to make any changes.  Sometimes we don’t have time (at least we think this) to stop and learn something new.  And there are people that in our minds we believe don’t have anything to teach us.  This last situation is usually rooted in pride for often the very people we need to be listening to are in the most obscure “boxes” low down on the org. chart. Often times these are the people closest to a situation and are the very ones who have the best input, but we don’t listen to them to our detriment.

So, be teachable.  Be willing to seek out the advice and counsel of people, no matter what their title or position.  To not do so limits us as leaders.

Learn something new today from someone you normally don’t ask advice of – you might be surprised by what you learn.

BG