We feel a sense of limitlessness and infinity when we stare at the sea. Vast amounts of hydrogen and oxygen are gathered in these masses of water. There seems to be no barrier for such greatness or at least our human eyes cannot immediately perceive any kind of obstacle on its way.
Do you admire this greatness? Nature has the secret recipe for us to be as great as the sea. It is valid in any period of our lives and in any part of the world.
The great sea
Rivers are made of the same substance as the sea, yet the sea is much greater than the river. The river is narrow because it does accept other water sources, and the sea is immense because it accepts water from a variety of sources. Acceptance of diversity is what makes the difference. This is not only true for the sea, but also for great countries and for great leaders.
The great country
In the past, people migrated to the United States (US) because of the freedom the country offered. There was a place for anyone with a dream. Ambitious people from every corner of the world left homes, friends and everything behind in order to move to the US. They knew that the US would accept them regardless of their origin and many have worked their way up to success.
The diversity of people has built the great US as we know it today. The US welcomes very diverse people as long as they can bring value to the country. The country has earned its place as the favourite destination for top talents worldwide. Even as other countries are trying to catch up, the progress the US has historically made through diversity has helped it firmly maintain its position.
The US is also a desired destination for businesses and start-ups. While European investors tend to be conservative and more risk averse, Americans are open-minded and accept different business ideas while awaiting for the next big thing. Because of this openness, only in the US could an IT start-up be worth billions in just a week.
The great leader
Accepting diversity also makes people outstanding, especially those in leadership positions. What do people surrounding you say? What do people in other departments say? Reality is extremely complex and everyone sees at best a very small part of it. As the story of the blind men touching an elephant tells us, depending on which part one is touching, everyone has a different conclusion. Depending on whether the person touched the leg, the tail, the trunk, the ear, the belly or the tusk, the conclusion might be that “the elephant” is a pillar, a rope, a tree brunch, a hand fan, a wall or a solid pipe.
In reality, we can only assess the situation by putting all these bits and pieces together and understanding things from the different perspectives. It is not only to understand the big picture that we need to listen to a diversity of opinions, but also because employees like to be heard. As human beings, they want to feel valued and know that they are contributing to the company. By accepting their good ideas, especially when they are different from our own, we are encouraging people to speak up and share new insights.
Opening up these mental boundaries might sometimes be difficult, especially if one was a boss to whom all employees obeyed without questioning. To overcome this mental stiffness, we need to train our minds. With a purposeful training, we can remind ourselves to be open-minded. Let us hear what other people think and what they have to say. One day you shall achieve greatness with a boundless mind.
The sea achieved greatness by accepting different currents of water. The US achieved greatness by accepting talents from all over the world. We shall also achieve greatness by accepting good ideas from other people. If you enjoyed this article, please share it. Sharing ideas is sharing life.