Quick to listen and slow to speak

Yesterday was rather busy for me as my schedule was packed with meetings. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, the first meeting of the day got off to a bad start.

By the time we took a mid morning break I was tense, nervous and could feel a very negative attitude coming on. In fact I did something that was not very exemplary of a leader. I joined the crowd in blaming others for not reaching some of our goals.

Thankfully, I’ve been molding my leadership abilities long enough that I could hear that little voice saying you better step back and asses the situation and find a way to turn the tide of negativism. When I hear that voice I know it’s time for coffee and contemplation.

Upon returning to the meeting I first apologized for pinning the blame on another. After this a quote by Coach Bill McCartney came to mind and I decided to write it on the dry erase board. “We are not here to compete with each other, we are here to complete each other.” I asked the meeting group to read it and think about the words of the quote for the next sixty seconds.

What happened after that was truly amazing. You could feel the energy return, the winds of negativity die down and ideas begin to fill the room. For the next three hours we were able to identify some obstacles keeping us from our goals and began to work on them as a team.

Anyone in that room could have turned those meetings from negative to positive. I just happened to be the one who has learned to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I’m living proof that anyone can be a leader when they so choose.

2 Responses to “Quick to listen and slow to speak”


  1. 1 kveljones March 1, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Jim!
    You always make me THINK… but today’s post really really helped me… I found myself fuming over a fight with my husband… went to the computer…started making excel charts to prove I WAS RIGHT AND HE WAS WRONG!!!.. but as I was excelling away I stopped and thought “we are not here to compete with each-other, we are here to complete each-other”… my pulse immediately slowed down.

    I was able to go to my husband calm instead of enraged, I was able to explain that obviously we both felt misunderstood, and together we were able to make a plan that will help us both better understand this particular issue…..

    So glad I read your blog! Again!!!! K

  2. 2 jimmorris March 1, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks Kathryn, you made my day!


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