Lessons From a Blind Man

Written by jeadmin

Topics: Leadership

I once worked with a man that was legally blind.  Every Friday night, a group of us met at the local watering hole to kick off the weekend.  Every week, someone would drive him home.  The first time I did this, it was awkward for me since I was unsure how much I needed to help guide him to the car.  I finally blurted out, “Please tell me what you need since I don’t know how well you can see.”

He chuckled.  Finally he replied, “Well, it’s hard for me to explain since I don’t know how well YOU can see.”

He went on to explain that all he needed was to rest his hand on my arm.  He did not need me to tell him where to step, and he certainly didn’t need me to guide him.

All he needed was a consistent reference point.

Years later, it occurs to me that all any of us really need is a reference point.  While your team may look to you to set the goal, they don’t need you to tell them how to get there.  Like the man in the story, which each have our own reality and our own unique view of the world.  We each make our own path using what talents, work ethic and motivation we have.  What we need is a leader that is consistent, that provides the stable point of reference that we can measure ourselves against.   That is why it is so important that leaders act with integrity, are accessible, and stay focused on the goal.

You may not physically feel the hand on the forearm, but it is always there.

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