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Simon says, “Understand and tap the knowledge, skills, and resources of everyone.”

You are not surprised? That old cat is already out of the bag? Simon’s secret is no secret anymore? Your friend Simon is a sponge who goes around soaking up whatever serves his team’s purposes. Everyone’s knowledge, skills, and resources fit right in with his absorption strategy.

Here is what you may not know. Simon is also a master at finding the specific know-how, particular skill, or perfect resource for the immediate purpose, whatever the need happens to be. He knows someone who either has or can get exactly what the doctor calls for, so to speak. When the success puzzle requires a new or unusual piece, Simon reaches out, pulls it in, and slips it into place. What’s more, it is miraculously an exact fit, not just what the doctor ordered. It is a cure for whatever the condition happened to be.

How does Simon do it? He sees everyone he meets as a potential resource for his team. He then talks with them about what they do, their knowledge, their skills, their resources. Of course, they are normally pleased with Simon’s interest and happy to share with him. What they do not know is sociable Simon is listening and filing away anything that may one day be a piece for his success puzzle. He then remembers the potentially useful details he has learned, ready to tap them when the time comes.

Surprise of surprises. That Simon is using the “listen and learn” strategy again. It is beginning to look like that may be another one of those absolutely critical characteristics of effective leadership. As you consider your developing leadership style, you may want to snitch this strategy from Simon and incorporate it into your personal inventory of leadership tools. It will serve you well.

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