How others make you notice the wise things you say

This probably has happened to you as well. You’re talking to friends or colleagues and suddenly one of them says: “now hold on, what is it you were saying?”

You lift your eyebrows. Did I say something in particular? You’re definitely confused because you were just talking.

“I don’t know. What was I saying?”

And then it happens. Your friend or colleague just repeates what you’ve said ten seconds ago. And all at once it sounds different. It sounds meaningful.

And you wonder: why didn’t I hear this? Why didn’t I pay attention to this?

It sometimes takes the ears of others to discover the wisdom in your own words.

When Seth talked about how important it is for a Tribe and its leaders to recognize, encourage and enable positive deviants it reminded me of a situation similar to the one described above.

In the early days of Triiibes Anne McCrossan; wrote a beautiful post about integrity. I left a comment just to congratulate her and to let her know I was thrilled by what she had written.

In that comment was a line that has litteraly changed my life over the past few months. Only I wouldn’t have noticed it unless Anne had pointed it out to me.

Since then it has become my motto. It has become my flashlight for giving people inspiration and clues when they are staring into the dark.

When I think back of this conversation, I’m still stunned by the simple power of recognition, and by Anne’s ability to read and listen carefully and how valuable it all has been.

It also taught me a valuable lesson about being a leader.

Maybe we feel like we’re just not born to be leaders. Because we feel we’re not up to dealing with whatever obstacle we come accross. Or because we don’t feel like taking responsibility.

I’ve got news for you.

Everybody can listen.

Everybody can discover meaningful words and point them out, sift these words from the babble.

Everybody can enable other people, even if it’s only yourself at first.

And in that sense: everybody can be a leader.

PS: The motto: “It’s not about being superman. It’s about being superbly human.” is not mine. It’s yours. It always has been. I’ve just uttered it for Anne to hear it :-).

PPS: This post appeared on triiibes. I’m not in the habit of reposting blogs from triiibes since we’ve basically agreed not to do so until the book was published. But the book has been published and I definitely didn’t want to keep this post from you since some of you really inspired me in writing it.


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