Listening is Not Learning, Telling Is Not Teaching

This one is a short one. The video (3 minutes) tell the entire lesson. In case you are curious, I share my lessons too.

For a long time I thought a book, seminar, or certification would teach me something. The fact is that I only learn by doing it myself. I need to try the book concept, I need to practice the seminar exercises, and I need to use the tools of the certification program in order to actually learn what to do or change my thinking.

There are several powerful illustrations in the video.

We lead by example. The mother doesn’t know better than to just show how to cut a pineapple.
We lead by connecting. The mother notices the girl wants a fruit bar. So she makes one out of what she has.
We lead by listening. The mother hears the idea and then lets the girl try it out.
We lead by guiding. Rather than selling the ice pops for her, the mother gives the girl a tip.
We lead by empowering. Mom entrusts daughter with the ownership of implementing the idea.
We lead by serving. Everything that happened was for the development of the daughter.

To me, what makes the video so powerful is the truth behind the story.

The mother had no lessons to tell, no books to refer to, no policies and procedures, or training programs. She just had wisdom gained from experience, the patience to demonstrate the skill, and the willingness and attitude to let the “student” find her way.

I believe that leadership is found in the behaviors we exhibit not in the lessons or advise we tell each other. To me leading is all about getting on the battleground and have the scars to prove it.

What lessons have you learned from watching others? What lessons are you teaching with your actions?




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