The great American essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, held a particularly accountable view of life and living and one of my favorite quotes of his is:
“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying!”
In other words, the character of a person is very often revealed in their speech. Think of two people, one who talks incessantly about themselves and another who spends most of the conversation asking questions about you. Their words and conversation reveal their inner most thought habits – the self-centered individual versus the humble, curious person. This quote also gives us insight into the Shadow of the Leader concept, where the actions and behavior of the senior team carry much more impact than their words (and powerpoint presentations). The shadows that leaders cast is one of the determinants of corporate culture.
A few blogs back I introduced you to one of my tutors and teacher when I was a young man, Thomas D. Willhite. Tom was always teaching but he also understood that most of his teaching feel on deaf ears. He would often say, “I’m just looking for one person, just one who will take what I have taught them and carry it further than I did.” Each one of his students hoped that they would be that one.
One of Tom’s “pearls of wisdom” that always rang true for me was a variation on the Emerson quote:
“Small-minded people talk about other people, average people talk about events, great people talk about ideas.”
I suggest the next time you are in a conversation, use this screen to determine the value of the time you are spending. Are you growing ideas or just burning up verbal calories?
Tight Lines . . .