Here’s an idea that will inspire you to prevail in tough times.
Woe is me! You hear that lament a lot these days. The Pity Party is alive and well and threatens to rob you and me of our spirit, our conviction, our hope –in essence our leadership.
Anne Bancroft (left) and Patty Duke as Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker
Not so fast Pity Mouth! Let’s scan the history books to recall how other leaders prevailed in tough circumstances, in times of illness or injury. Let’s rekindle our fortitude in frustrating times.
Whenever I’m tempted to attend the Pity Party, I think of Patty Duke playing Helen Keller in the Broadway play and later in the movie The Miracle Worker. What an amazing portrayal on screen and on the Broadway stage of a truly inspiring life. Helen Keller turned her personal adversity into a personal triumph. Consider the facts:
As a two-year-old, Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing.
By age seven, Helen Keller could not see, hear or speak.
By age 25, Helen Keller spoke English, French and German. She read Latin and Greek and she graduated with honors from Radcliffe College (in four years).
Still blind and deaf, Helen Keller became the first woman to earn at Honorary degree at Harvard University.
Helen Keller went on to write 12 books.
Helen Keller became an accomplished public speaker for nearly 50 years.
Here’s an idea to help you focus more on your listening skills. Reading time: 1:46
Listening is the most important skill of a leader, writes Perry Smith in his book Rules & Tools For Leaders.
Listening is so important that our sense of hearing is the first of our senses to fully function: just 23 weeks after conception, according to the Mayo Clinic. Then the human fetus is just 5.5 inches long and weighs 7 ounces!
And listening is so important that our sense of hearing is the last to die. That’s why Hospice advises family members never to assume that the dying person cannot hear. In fact Hospice says family members should direct their conversation to their dying family member even though he or she might not be able to verbally respond. They still hear you.
It’s revelatory that as you age your ears grow larger. Maybe that’s more than a subtle sign that we should listen even more fully as we age.
Click here to see previous post on Confessions of a Listener. Listening is so critical that Helen Keller who was deaf and blind always insisted that a sense of hearing was more important to keeping her in the “intellectual company of man.”
Nurture your listening skills to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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