As someone who helps people develop their leadership skills, I am often asked, ‘How do I make sure that I really know what I don’t know?’ As a regular weekend Tai Chi instructor, I am sometimes forgiven for not having the full story of what happened, or for not having the particular piece of critical information that might help people be fulfilled, effective or efficient in their work. But I find it astounding how few of us are 100% comfortable with knowing what we don’t know however well we think it or we might find it hard to believe. If we never reach a point of knowing what we don’t know, with respect to key leadership abilities, it can do a lot of damage to our effectiveness.
One thing I teach on my courses and talks is the Yoga of Getting Clear. It is a turning point in my training when I criticised myself for not knowing what I didn’t know, and made a game of searching for it. The practice helped me progress from wishing I knew to actually feeling the truth of not knowing. It also helped me to develop leadership skills to achieving clarity on key issues.
We are all continually learning and on a journey of discovery.
Earl Nightingale was a denied mathemagician and self-taught writer. He travelled and practiced. What he found was a reality that most of us could not hope to achieve. He worked as a carpenter and a writer and pianist, travelled and practiced. And, through it all, he was asking one crucial question. ‘What do I want?’ And he then proceeded to go about getting that.
And, in a speech to the subject of leadership in 1999 Earl Nightingale said the following:
“Most people get caught up in an endless cycle of life at work and life in the business world. Many people do not live up to their potential because they don’t know what makes them tick.. and the answer is… honesty. Somewhere well deep down inside they know they aren’t totally in control of their destiny. As far as they’re concerned, tomorrow is not promised and there is no guarantee that tomorrow will come.
To make an enormous psychological swing with life’s issues, the leadership journey is that of learning how to throw in the towel at the first block and then to begin to build again. To put some consistent barrows on the boat and roll them over. And to fish again.
We are on learning and adapting one innovative piece of information at a time, experiencing first some doubts, and then some gratification, along the way, as we continue to practice new ways of thinking on different levels, becoming more comfortable once we learn what not to do, and eventually closing the gap in between the Heywill-Shaw sisters.
While keeping an open mind about other schools, we learn to pay attention to our own capacity to learn. Our own level of awareness and motivation. Our capabilities. And to monitor how aware we are of the underlying impetus of our own desire to stay on the path of attainment.
We discover that engaging in the leadership journey is less about learning to be the smartest, most attractive, the smartest thing since sliced bread or a super computer, and more about alignment of desire from our deepest core to the pursuit of leadership abilities.
Need for leadership development is as much a driving force as the desire for leadership itself. While the need to be a leader is huge, the opportunity to practice leadership is also very, very great. Or as Earl Nightingale says, ‘the courage and strength to love without concern for others is the great power of leadership.’ I love this quote and I drink it up.
Peter carbohydrate Martin was a top gu mend rounds winner in 1997. And insimilar to his career rival Larry Solitaire, Peter was a well rounded balanced person. He was equally well knowledgeable in the academic world, held degrees in law, economics, health, education and sports. He was an All-State high school basketball star. He also founded and distributed a health club in the New York area.
I can look at this guy and his accomplishments and say, ‘Well, add this to the leadership stew. Wow!’ Unfortunately, I have to tread my own path at times. And the good news is things change. Peter Martin reached an all time high of #11, lowest of #12 and got a super slightly less accomplished quote. From his point of view: ‘Yes! It is the one who urges me in the direction I’m supposed to go. Without leading me to it, I would never have made the journey. To a Publishers Clearinghouse.’ He had a compelling passion that led him to dream up and then follow through. He had a passion and drive of desire to change.
What comes into our lives especially at the lunch table, dinner table or family dinner table is truly based on how we regard ourselves.