If you agree with somebody, don’t nod yes. If you disagree with somebody, don’t nod no.
You will be told your whole life that you need to learn to listen. I would say that you need to learn to be the last to speak. I see it in boardrooms every day of the week. Even people who consider themselves good leaders who may actually be decent leaders, will walk into a room and say ‘Here’s the problem, here’s what I think but I’m interested in your opinion. Let’s go around the room.’ It’s too late.
The skill to hold your opinions to yourself until everyone has spoken does two things: One, it gives everybody else the feeling that they have been heard. It gives everyone else the ability to feel that they have contributed. And two, you get the benefit of hearing what everybody else has to think before you render your opinion.
The skill is really to keep your opinions to yourself. Simply sit there, take it all in and the only thing you’re allowed to do is ask questions, so that you can understand what they mean and why they have the opinion that they have. You must understand from where they are speaking, why they have the opinion they have, not just what they are saying.
At the end, you will get your turn. It sounds easy, it’s not. Practice being the last to speak.
Transcript: There’s a few things, about three things to my count that I need each day.
One I need something to look up to, another something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.
Now first off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any human hand. He has shown me that it is a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said “When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you”
To my family, that’s who and what I look forward to. To my Father who I know he is up there right now with a big pot of gumbo. He has got a lemon meringue pie over there, he is probably in his underwear and he has got a cold can of Miller Lite, he is dancing right now. To you Dad, you taught me what it means to be a man.
To my Mother who is here tonight, who taught me and my two older brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves. And what we in turn learned was that we were better able to respect others. Thank you for that Mama.
To my wife Camila, and my kids Levi, Vida, Livingston. The courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me, Thank you.
And to my hero, that’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I have a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who is your hero?”. And I said I don’t know I gotta think about that, give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “Who’s your hero?” And so I thought about it and I said you know who it is, it’s me in 10 years.
So I turn 25, 10 years later that same person comes to me and goes “so are you a hero?” And I was like, not even close. No, no, no. She said, “Why?” I said because my hero is me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not going to obtain that, I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.
So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever that is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we are chasing to that I say amen. To that I say alright, alright, alright. And to that I say just keep living huh. Thank you.