Be the One in the Room

Gel pen & pencil on Mixed Media Paper – Words: George S. Patton

It is a blessing to spend time with like minded people. There is an inherent understanding and comfort level that similar views, opinions and experiences bring in such settings. It is like wearing your favorite warm sweater, that keeps you warm and protected, so no matter what the elements bring you are safe and dry. I find that most of my treasured memories were spent with people who were my version of a warm sweater.

However life is about change, constant change. Nothing stays the same or it does not stay that way for long. We end up navigating the process of living within the known while all around us evolves and moves forward. As the world changes around us we need to be open to learning new things, obtaining new skills and embracing new ways of thinking. The thoughts that got us here are no longer the thoughts that will move us towards our future.

I sat in a meeting once with a small group of leaders. The CEO just presented his ideas for change. No one spoke, commented or even flinched. The CEO then said, “If everyone agrees with me on this, then why do I need all of you?” I asked him if he REALLY wanted to hear our thoughts or just wanted validation of his ideas. “That’s what I’m talking about,” was his response. Good leaders and people who know and trust in who they are appreciate people who will speak the truth, no matter the consequences. When everyone agrees someone is not thinking. And if everyone always agrees then someone or most everyone has given up or given in.

Next time someone asks for your thoughts, first of all have some. If they are different speak up, if they are the same, speak up. No one ever got what they wanted by staying the same as everyone else and then staying silent. Things get done when we think and share and are willing to change with the times, the problems or the people. Be it a relationship or a corporate Board Room, your ideas may not always get implemented or supported yet you may be the only in the room with ideas, and THAT is what matters.

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