December 10, 2008

Why We Have Ears

Sometimes, people simply want the opportunity to be heard.

Most people at some point during their lives, although it may not be apparent, have had big ideas and dreams. I would dare to say that there are probably cures for rare diseases that remain uncured. There are probably a lot of ideas that employees from a number of automobile manufacturers have had that could have resulted in either greater income or a reduction in expenses. Yet, these businesses are today relying on the U.S. government to keep them afloat, so that the other companies that have people with big ideas and dreams can stay afloat. Perhaps, there are even ideas that you have had that could have dramatically changed the world had they been put into action.

What must be noted is that all of these examples are past tense. They could have done great things, had they taken a shot at it. Of course, this comes down to personal responsibility. If I see something that could be done which could positively impact the world, or even more narrowly thinking, myself, then I should take action and responsibility for sharing these ideas and dreams with others. However, there are some people who have tried to share an idea or dream. They have even gone as far as doing their homework, coming up with a solid business plan and justification of how their ideas will substantially and positively impact the world. Where the failure often comes, is when they attempt to share the idea and see no return. Try this a number of times, and you simply stop sharing. At least, they stop sharing with those who do not listen. Those that realize that they have something that could be of real value and pursue putting it into action will find someone who is willing to listen. They will tell their story, and will pursue the idea.

As leaders, it is important to listen to the ideas from the people that we interact with on a daily basis. Regardless of position, there are people that have awesome ideas. Ideas that have been born out of their own experiences and observations. Dreams that stem from who they have been uniquely designed to be. We must encourage them to share the ideas that they have. We must be willing to listen with intent, weighing each idea independently and also putting it against other ideas. Or, better still, taking idea after idea and compiling them into something far greater than anyone would have imagined independently. Sometimes, the best idea is the one that is built from a couple of good ideas.

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