“Only” Is Such A Lonely Option

I was thinking about a story I once heard John Maxwell share:

As he finished speaking, a young man approached him with a look of intensity and determination. As John greeted him, the young man launched into his question with great enthusiasm while waving his index finger in the air, “Dr. Maxwell, what is the ONE thing I need to know in order to be an effective leader?” Appreciating the young man’s sincerity, John answers with the same enthusiasm and intensity (including the act of pointing his finger in the air), “Young man, the ONE thing you need to know is that there is more than ONE thing you need to know.”

So true.

So many attempt to define leadership in terms of only.

You only need to know these four principles.
You only need to read this book.
You only need to attend this seminar or this conference.

Leadership is so much more than only. I would offer that leadership is more about “and” than it is about “only.”

I don’t know how many years I spent trying to discover or figure out the one thing. Unfortunately, it’s not about one thing. It has been and always will be about more than one thing. 

There is a shift occurring among teams and organizations. They need leaders who can identify and process through the options. They need leaders with diverse points of view. They need leaders who will creatively peek over the walls. They need leaders who can adapt with graceful flexibility.

In today’s world, only is such a lonely option. The saddest sentence in the world starts with the words, “If only…” This is because regret is harder to bounce back from than failure.

Today may be a great day to stop looking for only and start opening your eyes to all of the opportunities out there

What do you think?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Nicasio Aquino

    What I know is I know nothing, ergo, the only thing I need to know is that there is one more thing I need to know.