You Never Know Who’s Listening…

I’ve had the opportunity, for the last two days, to spend time with leaders from other businesses in an amazing leadership training.  It’s been insightful and I always enjoy the stimulating conversation and insights that come from these kinds of things. My preferred operating style is that of “Generally, I’m just me”.  I say what I think needs to be said and I try to do my best to tie things together and offer the “Aha!” moments and share them.

Often, we take for granted the things we do or say.  As a martial arts instructor, I explain things that, to me, seem routine or standard.  At the office, I’m not always as aware of things I’m saying as necessarily impactful or substantive.  In settings like a classroom or group setting, I don’t necessarily think people are paying attention to what I have to say.  After all, who am I, right?

I had an older gentleman today, after the group had happy hour and dinner, one who has said very little throughout the sessions tell me how he’s observed me for the last two days and how inspired and impressed he was.  I was really taken aback with the kind words he had, and the insight he shared with me over the course of a couple hours.  He let me know how much it’s meant to him to hear what I had to share.  Over drinks, we shared several personal stories, exchanged thoughts on philosophy, leadership, life, and learning.  I can’t even explain the depth of conversation that we were able to delve into.  Here was a scene: an old man – the CEO of a company – asking to understand and learn from me.  What a humbling experience!

Among the dozen or so lessons I’ve captured thus far in this experience (here in the middle of nowhere in Massachusetts) – this one reminds me that being yourself, with honesty, and not holding back is always worth it, as is always asking the right questions to seek the answer, and having a good attitude embracing a mindset of learning, openness, and seeking meaning, because even though you may sometimes think it’s just for you, you never know who’s listening…you never know who will hang onto and take some unintentional lesson to heart.

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