I am currently reading “The Virgin Way, Everything I know about leadership” by Richard Branson.  It would be hard to find a more successful person that lives such an interesting life.  I highly recommend the book.  From the very start you quickly learn one of Mr. Branson’s guiding principles in life and his business.  LISTEN.  Listening is ingrained into the cultures of his businesses and an important personal value.






There are several famous quotes on the value of listening and it can be found in stacks of business and leadership books.


Person Annoyed by Others Talking

When you are talking you are not learning.  You already know everything you have to say (or at least think you do).  When you are listening you are learning something new.  You gain knowledge you didn’t have.  You are enlightened to other ways to look at the world.  You grow.



My problem is, I’m a talker.  I like to talk.  I don’t know why. Maybe I like the sound of my voice (probably not, I’ve heard myself sing).  My parents like to share the results of most (ALL) of my grade school teacher’s conferences, “Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer, Todd is doing great.  He always participates, completes his work and is progressing well EXCEPT he talks too much”.  It seems my problem started from an early age.  I am one of those people who know something about everything but a lot about nothing.  Not really a helpful quality unless you are playing Trivial Pursuit. I like people and can talk to anyone.  That’s the problem, I talk to them.  I don’t spend enough time listening to them.



At 53 years old I still have a passion for learning.  I am amazed at the world around me and want to understand everything.  I work hard to expand my knowledge. That is the problem.  I work too hard at it.  If I would just shut up and listen I could be learning all of the time that I spend talking. I could easily benefit from everyone else hard work learning by simply listening to them.  If I would stop and listen to others I could gain the knowledge they are sharing.  No more time.  Less effort.  More Knowledge. Sounds simple.  I’m intelligent enough to realize this.  Then why can’t I do it?


old dog

They say you can’t  teach old dogs new tricks.  Well I’m not a dog and I do not yet consider myself old (Old is relative and seems to push back farther each year). So it’s time for me to listen.  I have several intelligent friends and co-workers.  I know they all have knowledge I don’t.  So in Nike tradition “Just Do It”.  I have committed to become a better listener.  I plan on taking the easy way out by taking the knowledge you have worked hard to learn by simply listening to you.  I want to learn things you learn edthe hard way without taking the hard way.  So next time you catch me blabbering on about something or another you have my permission to tell me to shut up.  I want to steal your knowledge you have spent years accumulating without doing all the studying.  I want to grab all the lessons you learned through trial and error without the trial and error.  You are all my teachers now and I want to learn.  I have providing too many free lessons for everyone else, it’s my turn.  Class in session. Start talking.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go listen to my wife (She wont know how to react)

Just Saying……..


About Ebsco Spring Company

Ebsco Spring Company manufactures precision springs. Ebsco Spring was established in 1941 in Tulsa Oklahoma. Ebsco Spring manufactures custom springs for a wide variety of industries including fluid power, oil and gas, aerospace, defense, medical and others.

One response »

  1. charnickdav says:

    I’ve tried to help. I’ve been telling you to shut up for years 🙂


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