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Fruit On the Tree

By Chris Brady

“Whenever you purpose to consult with anyone about your affairs, first observe how he has managed his own; for he who has shown poor judgment in conducting his own business will never give wise counsel about the business of others.” – Isocrates, letter to Demonicus

It is curious to me how quickly people are to proffer advice, even when they have no fruit on the tree. Many would-be “counselors” would do well to demonstrate success before feigning to be able to advise others.

Conversely, it amazes me at times to see people neglect, disregard, or even flat-out refuse to ask for advice or help from those who have obviously succeeded in a category far in excess of themselves.

The best way to make it through a minefield is to follow in the footsteps of one who has successfully gone through ahead of you. Sure, we are all free to venture out on our own, but we can only be blown up so many times.

The short cut is to follow success. In this, I don’t mean blind loyalty. Rather, I mean heeding the advice, and attempting to learn the mindset, world-view and perspective of those that have succeeded in an area in which we would also like to succeed.

Because of this, the greatest leaders are those that are also able to follow and ask for help.

As Orrin Woodward says,

“If you are too big to follow you are too small to lead.”

But I see so many people that will take advice for a time, that will listen for a season, but then venture off course and start heading right back into the bushes again.

Why is this? I wish I knew. But what I DO know is that there is a tremendous difference in results between those who continually seek perspective and counsel, and those who drift off by simply “taking their own counsel.”

Be smart enough to counsel with those seasoned by experience. Be humble enough to ask. Be a big enough leader to find someone you can also follow, even while others are following you.

As the Bible says, there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. At the same time, however, never leave go of your own senses. Never follow blindly. Never disengage your own brain and thinking.

Proper mentorship should encourage the protege to think even more and even better than he or she did before. One doesn’t seek advice and counsel to learn what to think, but rather how to think.

When we learn how to think, when we learn the process of exercising our gray matter, we can think our own thoughts in a much higher way. We will then be utilizing the experience and thoughts of others to elevate our own.

Perhaps you, dear reader, ought to think on this.

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Chris Brady co-authored the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Weekly, USA Today, and Money Magazine best-seller Launching a Leadership Revolution.

He is also in the World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus and among the Top 100 Authors to Follow on Twitter. He has spoken to audiences of thousands around the world about leadership, freedom, and success.

Mr. Brady contributes regularly to Networking Times magazine, and has been featured in special publications of Success and Success at Home. He also blogs regularly at Chris Brady.

He is an avid motorized adventurer, pilot, world traveler, humorist, community builder, soccer fan, and dad.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Estell Kauffman and Jason Frega, Rascal Nation. Rascal Nation said: Article by Chris Brady (@RascalTweets) is featured by @thesocialleader http://bit.ly/fRaSYL // Great stuff! […]

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Fruit On the Tree