Outside Input

Andrew Carnegie said, “It marks a big step in a man’s development when he comes to realize that other men can be called in to help him do a better job than he can do alone.”

Along these lines, Ken Blanchard said more succinctly, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Leaders must walk a thin line here.

On one hand, we need to be able to think a step ahead of the crowd — to see the big picture when others can’t see past today.

On the other hand, we must learn to listen to those we lead. Their input is invaluable — and not merely because it makes them feel “as though they have a voice.” It’s invaluable because their input actually leads to a better end result.

None of us is as smart as all of us.

A verse in Chronicles illustrates this approach to leadership. David is bringing the ark back to Jerusalem, and I want you to notice how he does it:

David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds. He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the Lord our God, let us send word far and wide…” (1 Chronicles 13:1-2)

I like the flexibility in David’s words. I like the way he listened to others. It’s something every leader needs to develop.