Inspiration and insight can come from anyone, if we are willing to listen for it. Generally, we look to the old, the wise, the wealthy and the famous for words of wisdom, yet our perspective grows when we listen to everyone. Now, not everyone’s ideas are worth acting upon, but they are all worthy of being heard.
I could read more about leadership from the long list of esteemed leaders, or I could learn more about it from an unlikely source. I have heard about leadership from John Maxwell, Abraham Lincoln, Seth Godin, Earnest Shackleton and other greats, but I had never asked my nine year old daughter, until recently. I had no idea what kind of response I would get, or even if she would respond at all, but what she said was spot on. Her definition of ‘leadership’ was,
“I don’t think of it as telling people what to do, I think of it as helping people and solving problems.”
This response was complete, simple and easy to understand. It not only defined the essential qualities of leadership, but it also corrected the common misunderstanding of leadership versus management. This off-the-cuff definition from a nine year old worked for me and became worthy of sharing.
By allowing my ears to hear a new perspective, I am better off. I can now add her name to my list of influential leaders and thinkers. Inspiration and insight can come from anyone, if we are willing to listen for it.
Leaders must be learners