Friday, May 22, 2009

Here's How One Comment Can Change a Life;
Try Being Interested Rather Than Interesting

'During my first year on the Stanford faculty in 1988, I sought out Professor John Gardner for guidance on how I might become a better teacher. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education & Welfare, founder of Common Cause, and author of the classic text Self-Renewal, stung me with a comment that changed my life. "It occurs to me, Jim, that you spend too much time trying to be interesting," he said. "Why don't you invest more time being interested?"'
--from a slim new publication, Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer, by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. You can review earlier mentions of John Gardner here.


At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am both. Good looking too. Laughing too hard to sign my name.

At 3:39 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Sorry, you lost me. Laughing at what?

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Being a teacher I cringe at the thought that I might say one sentence that discourages a child - but of course that can be said for parents as well.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

True enough, Diane. And don't forget yet another group--people who you've mentored (consciously or otherwise), and who hang on your every word. It's amazing how these folks sometimes take to heart and remember for years some phrase you might say that you considered a throwaway line. Anyway, you can drive yourself crazy thinking about all this, if you let yourself.


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