Let me start by saying, you are all leaders. It’s not that this blog is elitist. And it’s not that you are each CEO’s and leaders of industry. It comes from the fact that you all care about the direction the world is going, and you’re conscientiously making an effort to understand and improve yourself to be the change that you want to see in the world.
That is leadership.
When you set out to find your own path, you are leading, simply because, you are no longer following.
When you lead in this manner you won’t always see your followers. You won’t always see your impact. But it is there and it is powerful. As surely as a wake of air ripples out behind a jumbo jet, it is very hard so see, but when the wind hits you, it’s impossible to deny.
So it is in this spirit of speaking to leaders that I share my quote of the week:
Our job as leaders isn’t always to teach something new. But it is mainly to remind people of something they already know.
People don’t always need to hear the new and novel. All too often, in this modern world, everybody has heard everything that the world offers to them. But they haven’t thought through it all. There are ideas in their minds that have been seeded, but not fertilized. There are thoughts that have not yet been processed. And in that, lays the value of a repeated message.
One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie ‘Twelve Monkeys’ with Bruce Willis. This movie involves time travel, and at one point in the movie Bruce Willis’ character (James Cole) finds himself sitting in the same theatre movie as he watched as a young boy. After watching part of the movie he looks at his companion and says ” The movie never changes — it can’t change — but everytime you see it, it seems to be different because you’re different — you notice different things.” I often paraphrase this when sharing with others “The movie hasn’t changed, but I have…”
And in this concept comes the value of repeated lessons. Each time a story or an idea is repeated to us we can process some subtle input that eluded us before. This can be the result of concentration or perhaps a side benefit of life experience. But whatever the reason, as we change so does our ability to learn and process different aspects of the lessons around us.
So approaching the world as leaders, don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. Don’t feel like the slowest person in the class when you approach an old book and read it for the 3rd or 10th time. Don’t be surprised if the mundane world that you walk through today, where nothing ever seems to change, offers you a new exciting lesson that you never saw before.