When I was around nine years old, I ignored some sage advice from Mom and well, it ended badly. Shocked, aren’t you?
Have you ever ignored your mother’s advice to later discover she knew what she was talking about? I seemed to have experienced that a lot growing up, but at the time, I really didn’t think she knew anything. Well, on this day, she did. Growing up, my brother Mike and I spent hours at the local baseball park. This particular day, we rode our bikes to the park for a game, but there was a rain delay. While we were waiting under the pavilion, a few of us decided we would take a few practice swings. I agreed to catch first and since we were just going to practice some soft swings and bunts, I didn’t feel like that old sweaty, bulky catcher’s mask was really necessary. Mom had mentioned to me more than once, “Do not ever play catcher without pads and your mask.” But, Mom never played baseball so what does she know?
Well, on the first batter, second swing, he took an extra big back swing just as I was leaning forward to catch a low pitch. BAM! Stars and blood. He hit me right above my right eye. My eye swelled shut pretty fast but after a few stitches, I was like new in just a few days. Or at least I thought.
Recently, I had surgery on that eye to repair the damage which my specialist called ptosis. So why is this relevant, other than always listen to your Mom? I find that some of the best advice (sometimes tough advice) comes from those closest to me and who care the most about my success. Yet, my tendency at times is to not stop and listen as intently to them because of that familiarity.
Leadership isn't a solo act. No one can reach their full potential alone. Everyone needs advice, coaching and help along the way. I know I need lots of it. Sometimes, the best advice comes from those who are closest to us. Listen intently for those caring words, they nearly always carry a big impact or help you avoid one!