[May 16, 2018] George Godwin has been a good friend of mine since I was a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry. He likes to think of himself as a pretty good leader, and in reality, he is an exceptional leader. What does he do that most of us don’t? He is always asking people to please argue against me and debate me.
And, it works. George is always trying new logic, twists and turns in arguments, and seems to enjoy discussing any subject; especially those topics where emotions are involved. Like politics, he loves to debate others and will take a position he doesn’t believe in, just to argue and debate.
George is doing several things at once. First, he is emotionally developing a thicker skin to those who criticize him. Second, he is refining the ability to build a logical and an emotional argument together for a more effective stance. And third, he is building a reputation as an outstanding thinker who can out-think the best minds in the business.
George was recently asked to be on a strategic decision-making committee for a large corporation out of Manhattan, New York. His reputation as a “creative thinker,” got him the offer and it came with a nice salary. My friend, however, is a proud and loyal man, so he turned down the offer to remain close to his family in Chicago.
With the right attitude, however, seeing others as better can be an advantage. We can use the superior talents of others to learn from and to make ourselves stronger and more resilient. Cyrus the Great exemplifies this way of thinking.
As a boy, Cyrus sought out boys better than he in the sport of wrestling with the idea that they could show him the right way to wrestle and win. Later, he was to become one of the greatest leaders in all of humankind’s history.
Perhaps George stumbled upon a great way to make leadership better. Or, he is just a really smart guy. Either way, his technique works and I highly recommend it. Remember that there will always be people better than you, so why not take advantage.