One of the great maxims of true nobility came from the pen of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. She once wrote, “Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.”
Have you ever sat through a conversation that felt like a trip through a desert? The people around you buzzed with fascination over the latest stories and gossip, but it left you dry, even thirsty, for conversation that nourished your soul. You would have given just about anything for a long, stimulating discussion of things that matter.
On the other hand, have you ever had a conversation that changed you forever? It may have lasted only a few moments, but there was depth and wisdom in it. You were exposed to the fruit of a vast mind or a large soul. You can remember it years later. Its fruit grows in your life every day.
Great leaders are intentional about everything they do. It doesn’t mean they over-plan or over-prepare. It doesn’t make them dull or plodding. Instead, they live intentionally, don’t give themselves to folly, and try to craft the results of all of their actions. The topics of conversations are among the things leaders try to guide, try to use for impact, and through which they try to accomplish good.
Researchers have confirmed that we speak nearly 900,000,000 words in a lifetime. That’s as much as the whole Bible spoken over a thousand times. It’s as much as the Oxford English Dictionary spoken over 15 times. It’s also the same as the Encyclopedia Britannica spoken 32 times.
Many words we speak before we know their power. Leaders, though, understand the potential of words and conversations to ennoble people and elevate perspective. They enjoy words. They wield them. They craft conversation of value with them. They know destinies can turn in the process.
Ponder what you say. Give thought to the conversations you have. How can you lift them to the contemplation of great themes rather than merely the digestion of gossip and smallness? How can you make your conversations a tool of your leadership?
That’s it. Have a good weekend. And if you’re looking for gift ideas, take a look at our Christmas bundles, available only on my website.