Listen Beyond the Words

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

—PETER DRUCKER,management consultant


During times of constant change, I take comfort in words of enduring wisdom. For example, in the last chapter, I shared Cicero’s guidance to “Let the safety of the people be the highest law.”

For this chapter, I want to turn to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, who, in the first century AD, provided an enduring observation that sets up the leadership insights that will be shared in this chapter. Epictetus noted, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetus’s astute observation notwithstanding, many people (including leaders) focus more on ...

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