Lessons from the Piano

Warren Bennis and Bert Nanus wrote: “It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguishes leaders from followers.” The capacity, however, must be exercised to be of value as illustrated by Charles Swindoll, pastor, author and educator, in his book, Day by Day.

“A piano sits in a room, gathering dust. It is full of the music of the masters, but in order for such strains to flow from it, fingers must strike the keys … trained fingers, representing endless hours of disciplined dedication. You do not have to practice. The piano neither requires it nor demands it. If, however, you want to draw a beautiful music from the piano, that discipline is required….

“You do not have to pay the price to grow and expand intellectually. The mind neither requires it nor demands it. If, however, you want to experience the joy of discovery and the pleasure of plowing new and fertile soil, effort is required. Light won’t automatically shine upon you nor will truth silently seep into your head by means of rocking-chair osmosis. It’s up to you. It’s your move. “

Great leaders are humbled by their limitation of not knowing what they don’t know.  Yet their passion and purpose is the fire that kindles and sustains their search to explore, find and learn new ideas, perspectives and dreams that will transform their lives and those whom they serve. In their life-long quest for learning they are cautioned by the words of Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist:  “The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”  May your life be filled with a magnificent passion for continuous learning.

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