I recently read a biography of the musician Willie Nelson. He tried for years to make it in Nashville, the place where ‘country singers’ were supposed to find success. Discouraged, he finally went home to Texas where people liked him. From there, he launched one of the most prolific and long-lasting music careers of all time.
Here’s the key – he didn’t shut himself off from the folks in Nashville. Even though they didn’t recognize or appreciate him, he remained open and accessible to all sorts of people, friends and foes.
He didn’t abandon his principles; he was clear about HIS music; but he remained open. WE can only lead others if we remain open.
If you find this challenging, try the debate method. Argue the case of your opponent. It will give you a fuller and deeper understanding of the people who oppose you. It might even make them more open to you. Nashville came to love Willie. Your opponents could come to appreciate you, too. – Shar McBee