I was not much of a football fan until about five years ago. I can now admit that the reason I did not like the game is because I did not understand it. As a matter of fact, I oftentimes found myself being quite judgemental of folks who did enjoy the game. For example, my husband! And then one Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in the family room reading while my husband was watching a football game. Now, my husband is usually very under-animated but he was cheering and booing and talking to the television...it caught my attention! I started asking questions about what certain players were doing and why they were doing it. The next Sunday afternoon, I continued to ask questions. By the end of the season, I understood the game! But you might be asking, "how did football make you humble?".
It does not matter how many games I watch, I have to continue to ask questions because there is always something I do not understand. My mother, who is 88 and an avid football fan, may be the one who answers the question. My husband, who never played the game but knows it so well may be the one who answers the question. The kid down the street with a learning difference may be the one who answers the question. In other words, I have to be willing to admit that I do not always understand what is going on as the players are running up and down the field and I have to turn to these other "experts" who I may not have considered. But, I have learned to ask questions to learn and get their diverse perspectives on the game.
Often we do not grasp what is going on in our organizations, communities or even our own families because we fail to ask questions of curiosity or understanding or get diverse perspectives from the various players in our life. You have to be willing to admit that you don't know and many of us, especially leaders, are not very good at admitting our ignorance especially if someone disagrees with us. Football has made me humble because I have had to admit that I do not know. But, with the humility has come learning and understanding ....what a gift. Not all who wander are lost!