In today’s class, Paul showed appreciation for a field-worker technical skills, and he honestly admitted that he was completely unable of performing his everyday job. He appreciated that another person had valuable skills and knowledge that he didn’t have.
As opposed to Paul, I often come across many smart people that complain that their mates are incapable, they don’t know basic stuff and they are ignorant.
A wise Italian professor once said that it is difficult to appreciate in people what they know that we don’t. So, we tend to think some people are ignorant just because they don’t have the same knowledge we do have!
How many times have you heard old people complaining about young people skills, competences? And if we look back, we find out that this belief has always affected generations throughout history. Nevertheless, it is evident that the amount of human knowledge and competences have always increased as centuries went by.
For example, I have always been considered by my uncle as ignorant. Yes, he calls me donkey. But he loves me. Anyway, reason being that he knows some pretty cool stuff like ancient greek, then he looks for his knowledge in me, he can’t find it, and therefore he concludes that I am ignorant. On the other hand, he doesn’t know anything of computer science, so he can’t appreciate how valuable it is, and he can’t recognize that I own this competence. In other words, I am good at computer science, but he can’t see it because he is not.
I think a good leader, who work with people whose knowledge and skills are various, have to keep in mind this human attitude every time he/she is tempted to think that someone is incompetent, incapable, ignorant.
And maybe, this is what Confucius meant when he said that to be a leader, you have to love your followers: you have to appreciate and respect people, especially when it seems that you just can’t, because really few people can do it and that’s what make you a leader.