20 March 2015
How do you make it to the top of your profession?
There is one skill that I realised a few years ago that I needed to work on. Listening.
I remember a friend Tom Bloxham MBE and extraordinary entrepreneur using the analogy, “people have two ears and one mouth and they should use them in that proportion”. He also described Sir Richard Branson as “the greatest listener I have ever met”.
I have always enjoyed watching and learning from better leaders and entrepreneurs, what’s interesting is that patterns soon emerge.
What I noticed from studying and learning from the best, is that success seems to be in direct proportion to people’s ability to listen.
The bigger the entrepreneur, the better the listener.
There is a massive caveat to all this though as its easy to push back on this and say, “hang on…. look at the TV shows, Dragons Den and the Apprentice, are they good listeners?”
The answer is clearly a resounding “no!” But then again you have to remember this is TV. It’s exaggerated life and it’s definitely not a blue print from how you should either act in the board room or with your team mates.
Listening is the single most important thing you can do in a business environment and life in general. It gives you the ability to act with the information needed to make a success of whatever you do.
I believe every business can be a success, yet so many fail. Why? Well, there are always daft ideas that will never get off the ground, however when you have a great idea and a great business, if you canvas opinion and involve others in discussions, you create an inclusive environment and at the same point, give people a voice. Whilst all this is happening, you are gaining invaluable information to make your next steps.
It wasn’t always like that at UKFast. But I am realising the better I get at it and the same with my managers and leaders, the better our businesses get.
On Sunday I am going to be blogging about some of the changes we are making to UKFast thanks to feedback from team mates, past and present.
Remember! “Two ears one mouth!” The answers are all around us, so go and make the biggest difference you can to whatever project you are working on and get everyone involved.
Have a great day!