When I read that in the book I was reading, it struck me differently this time since it was the second time I was reading it.
The chapter was on excellence and innovation and the author was arguing that it’s impossible to have either one without true feedback. This was making me more reflective than usual and I couldn’t figure out why.
Later that day, I remembered a meeting my wife and I had earlier that week. We met with two couples we went to church with. The meeting was about something we were launching in the church and how we wanted them to be involved to help lead it.
We wanted to partner with these two couples because they thought very differently than my wife and I and they were always known to us as people who seemed to have different opinions than other friends we had. But somehow we kept being drawn to them.
This meeting showed us why.
They had this insane desire to make an impact in the church and this was the first time I saw this side of them.
Before that meeting, we had known each other for almost 2 years, but our perspective of them was they were the type of people to slow people like myself down. I was the person who had an idea and wanted those around me to go with it and give very minimal feedback.
But man was I wrong.
This meeting showed that their so called “opposition” to things was really a deep desire to make things better. A lot better. What I called opposition was really amazing feedback. They were so skilled at thinking through things quickly. When I removed the label I had put on them, they became the type of people whose feedback became most valuable. I was able to see what they were really saying.
Proverbs 12:15 says, “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.”
You can get lost in your perspective and in the “Information Age” we have more opinions than ever before, but we will only have about 5% of people making 95% of the impact. Why is that? Because those 5% have laid down their desire to be right and begun listening to other people. Or another way to put it, they have increased their desire for feedback. Real feedback. Not just the stuff you want to hear.
So think to yourself about all the things you have labeled. Because you HAVE labeled things. And determine today to do whatever it takes to remove the labels so you can remove the limits.