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Leading Ideas: Take Advantage of Others

"Every man I meet is in some way my superior." — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American author, minister, & activist

Something to consider:

Everyone knows something that you don't. Take advantage of that and allow them to teach you. By seeking the knowledge and wisdom of others 2 powerful things happen. (1) - you acknowledge them (a basic human desire). And (2) - you learn a lot in the process. Everybody wins.

The process doesn't have to be a lengthy one. A colleague of mine makes a habit out of asking nearly everyone he meets for quick tips. He describes a challenge he's having and then asks for 2 pieces of advice for how he can overcome it. "Much of what I hear is crap," he admits, "but it's worth listening to because some of the stuff is brilliant."

Something to try:

1. Go through your contacts and jot down a few people you'd like to learn from.
2. Invite them to lunch.
3. Let them know you'd like to take advantage of them (bet they don't hear that every day).
4. Ask them provocative questions to get them to tell you their story.
5. Try to leave with one or more ideas you can put into action.

Question: How do you take advantage of others?