WHAT APPEARS TO BE
My wife came up with the title above. Which, of course, means she’s right… and which provides me with an age-old reminder, and one that always proves valuable.
Am I more interested in being right than I am in moving things forward? Than having harmonious relationships with others? Than creating the synergies with others that will propel us to future success?
WHAT MIGHT BE
Too often my ego demands that I inform others that I’m the smartest person in the room. This “inform”-ation manifests itself in my talking too much; in selling my ideas to others (because, of course, my ideas are brilliant); in getting defensive when someone disagrees with me; in claiming ownership of every successful scheme that exists; and whispering “see, I told you so” when a plan fails.
Is it possible that when I impose my will on others it reveals my incompetence as a leader?
WHAT CAN BE
A friend vows that in ’08 he’ll keep his mouth shut more often in meetings. He’s one of the most talented individuals I know. He’s not keeping his mouth shut so as to withhold information; he’s shutting up so he can lead more effectively.
I have another friend who carries a cork in his pocket. It’s a reminder that his words are not like wine: they don’t get better with time. Quantity is not quality.
That’s why, when my wife and I travel, I’m letting her drive. Who cares if she chooses a different lane than I would, we take a different route, or she doesn’t shift gears when I would. I’m more interested in our healthy relationship than being the only driver in the family.
Who’s the driver when you’re around? And where are you driving people?
What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.