My Dad would regularly offer me this piece of advice when growing up. He himself learned it from his own life experience as well as from wood-working classes in the Technical school in Athboy County Meath. Of course, this little nugget of wisdom does not just apply to carpentry and I find myself constantly saying it to myself in this world of ours where instant outcomes or immediate satisfaction is expected. It applies most often in the documents and collateral we produce and can often be inferred in the competency ‘attention to detail’.
A further learning for myself has been that no matter how often I look at a piece of work there will be something that another person will see that I cannot. This has encouraged me to value other people’s perspectives. It has been a lifelong and constantly re-affirmed learning for me that a diverse team can bring different perspective to a challenge and will typically if not always deliver a better outcome. I have been fortunate in my career to have been able to build quite a few teams and to experience first-hand the benefits that people with different perspectives will bring. Of course, great leaders don’t just stop at creating the team, they develop and encourage all that is good about the team’s diversity, they ensure inclusion. This can be challenging for most of us as it requires another 2 by 1 but not the length of timber this time rather our two ears and one mouth.
Genuine listening is hard, we again tend to see things through our own evolved perspective but great leaders as Stephen Covey would say will ‘seek first to understand’.
Well, that was my thought for the day, what is yours?