They say “Ignorance is bliss.” But I respectfully disagree.
All you have to do is break the word down and you see that ignorance is the decision to “ignore” the obvious. And just because you ignore something doesn’t mean it won’t hurt you in the long run (or immediately).
- Ignore gravity and fall to your death.
- Ignore warning signs and run your car off a downed bridge.
- Ignore sound advice and suffer the consequences.
- Ignore the devil and he won’t have to work as hard.
This list could go on and on – but here are four things that will help you repel ignorance if you choose NOT to ignore them:
Covey said it this way, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Truth is, if you do all the talking you look and sound ignorant – even if your content is good! Life is a dialogue – not a message. Listen to the thoughts and feelings of others and you’ll find yourself trusted, respected and sought out.
If you’re listening, you’re probably learning as well.
Undercover Boss is the perfect illustration of this. I’ve only seen one episode but the moral of the story is self evident. A CEO leaves his or her lofty position, dresses like the common worker and spends time listening and learning about their company. The insights are HUGE! If they had stayed in their corner office they may never have had the opportunity to make necessary changes that in turn made the company better.
One of the first books my boss (Kem Meyer) purchased for me when I began volunteering at Granger was Love Is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. I won’t bore you with the details, but the basic concept is that love should be the guiding principal behind every interaction you have – even in business. Take it from Tim, or take it from this guy named Jesus – either way, the truth is clear. Love is yet another thing that will decrease your “ignorance factor.”
If you’re actively listening, learning and loving people well, you better get off your @$$ and start leading.
Excuse the french, but I needed to hear it put that way. You see it took me years of sitting on the bench before I finally engaged and began serving/leading the way God wants us to. And even today I struggle with sitting back versus engaging and actively leading others well.
In summary – I think we all have a little “ignore”ance in us. But if we focus on these four things we’ll at least have a fighting chance!