People sabotage their futures in countless ways, sometimes knowingly, but probably more often by “willful ignorance.” The old adage, “What we don’t know won’t hurt us.” comes to mind. As far as the outcome is concerned, it probably doesn’t matter. Either way, the results are a tragic waste through missed opportunities and falling short of one’s potential. Common misunderstanding about leadership is a good place to begin.
“Many people fail to recognize the value of leadership. Some don’t recognize its importance. Others believe that leadership is only for a few–for the people at the top of the corporate ladder. They have no idea of the opportunities they’re passing up when they don’t learn to lead. This point was driven home for me when a college president shared with me that only a handful of students signed up for a leadership course offered by the school. Why? Only a few thought of themselves as leaders. If they had understood that leadership is influence, and that in the course of each day most individuals usually try to influence at least four other people, their desire might have been sparked to learn more about the subject. It’s unfortunate because as long as a person doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, he isn’t going to grow.”
— The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell, 2007, p. 27.
Here are three questions for you that only you can answer.
- “In what ways might I be willingly ignorant about leadership?”
- “How could this be sabotaging my career and my life?”
- “What will I do to stop being an underachiever?”