I saw a ventriloquist on TV the other night. He was amazing. His ability to have a funny, witty conversation with an inanimate object was truly jaw dropping. As he continued I was so caught up in the humor that I truly forgot who was really speaking. I forgot one man was speaking both parts. The humor would have been great even if it had been two people. But when you think: this is just one guy and a ‘dummy’ – it was startling!
Afterwards I thought, I’ve known leaders like that. You may have observed them, too. These are the types of leaders that speak for everyone. Their leadership is one way. It’s as if they are able to manipulate people so that they can stick their hands up the, uh err… backs of others and control their words and movements.
Ventriloquist leaders aren’t funny and neither are their conversations. They manipulate people by using their position or authority. They rarely care much about others. Many aren’t even aware they are doing it. They think everyone else is the ‘dummy’ and they’re the only ones who really understand. They believe they have a rare combination of insight and ability that makes them the perfect one to call all the shots.
Leaders don’t speak for other people, unless it is to defend. Maybe it’s better said that great leaders don’t put words in the mouths of others. Enough said.
Points to Ponder –
Draw a picture of an old time teeter-totter or see-saw. On one side put a mark toward the outside of the fulcrum of how good you are at listening, soliciting opinions and seeing the views of others. On the other side of the fulcrum put a mark that indicate how good you at assuming you know their feelings or opinions (at putting words in their mouths). Which way does the teeter-totter see-saw?
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being high) rate yourself on how much you care about other’s opinions. Be brutally honest.
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