6 September 2015

I have talked a little about listening and its importance when leading and developing but I am not sure people really understand its importance and how essential it is in building businesses and all types of leadership.

Too often I hear leaders or “would-be leaders” being overly demonstrative and holding court. It’s easy to talk over other people or railroad them from the protection of an ivory tower, but if you want to make the right or best decisions, you have to listen to the people directly affected by the problems you are trying to solve.

3 year old Aylan Kurdi dies on a beach fleeing from Syria with Parents

3 year old Aylan Kurdi dies on a beach fleeing from Syria with Parents

The biggest of the ingredients or traits needed to be successful, is the ability to listen. It’s also the one where people fall short the most.

Listening is key to understanding the landscape of what’s around. It’s a great way of spotting opportunities and developing friends. Its crucial if you are going to make informed decisions and get things right.

This week I have been shocked at the news of 3 years old Aylan Kurdi found dead on a beach in Turkey after drowning. It’s a tragic story and another unnecessary death adding to the ever-increasing toll of people fleeing Syria. The atrocities that are being inflicted on innocent people beggar belief.

And back in the UK we should be very proud. We have ambassador Katie Hopkins a prominent writer for the Sun stating unequivocally she’d use Gunships to stop immigrants and burn their boats.

"Use gunships to stop migrants" Katie Hopkins

“Use gunships to stop migrants” Katie Hopkins

Really? Katie, do you still stand by that statement when innocent people are being thrown off roofs and stoned to death for being Gay and thousands are being beheaded and burnt alive?

Do you propose they stay and face the consequences of a world that refuses to listen?

Sadly Katie’s behaviour epitomizes exactly what is preventing change. To dismiss serious problems and insult someone who challenges you without digesting their alternative point of view does not serve our wider needs. It stops progression in its tracks.

Isn’t it time we listened to our hearts and acted?

I do not propose to know the answer, but I am convinced that the solution is not to humiliate and insult the very same people who are affected by the crisis in Syria.
Britain has a reputation to protect and it’s important that we act in a proper and responsible way and ensure we are there for other Nations, like our allies were there for us when we found ourselves in less fortunate times during the Second World War.

This week needs to be about finding a solution and stopping the atrocities and those committing them dead in their tracks.

The clock is ticking and every minute we delay another child and innocent person dies.

I appreciate we all have lives and we are busy, but do we really want to be listening to Amazon Prime CEO bragging about Jeremy Clarkson being rewarded with a “very, very, very expensive” contract after punching a member of his staff to the extent he had to visit casualty.

I don’t think so. And I also don’t think we want to listen to the rants of Katie Hopkins even if they are done in the name of entertainment.

I want to see our Prime Minister David Cameron standing tall and asking searching questions with other world leaders on how we best change the destiny of people less fortunate than us in Syria and the like.

It’s only if we listen to what is happening and let the sadness in our hearts drive change, then and only then can change happen.

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