It’s really hard to influence people for the better when deep down inside you genuinely see those people as stupid.
There seems to be a direct correlation between taking other people seriously and having the power to inspire changes in their behavior.
It’s easy to get mad at the irrational things people say and do. It’s easy to feel paralyzed by narratives like “No one cares about the truth” or “People are just a bunch of sheeple” or “No matter what I say, people are just going to make stupid choices anyway.”
It’s gratifying to the ego when we dismiss people, when we sit around and talk about how stupid they are for not “getting it.”
Leadership, however, is hard on the ego because it challenges us to affirm the best in people even when they’re at their worst.
Being a leader isn’t about being nice or polite. It’s about understanding the fact that change begins with doing the difficult work of treating people like they’re actually worth the investment.
You can’t change the world by getting mad at where people are. You change the world by getting inspired about who people can become.
If you want to influence them, you gotta invest in them.