Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)
Right out of college, I got a job working as a manager at an aerospace company in southern California. It was a pretty cool gig. I got to meet a lot of people and learn a lot about how factories and machine shops actually function. We made a ton of parts for commercial airplanes. In fact, our biggest customer at the time was Boeing. (If you aren’t aware, they’re pretty much the biggest builder of airplanes in the world.)
One day, out of nowhere, one of my friends who worked at Boeing sent me an internal memo (a document which spells out what’s going to happen in the company). The memo stated that Boeing was going to stop purchasing its parts from small suppliers (we were considered small) and instead contract with only a few giant suppliers. This meant that our company would lose two-thirds of its orders, which translated into millions of dollars per year.
I took the document to the owner of the company who refused to believe that it was true. He told me to ignore it and do my job. I took it to the General Manager (basically the next highest guy up) and he went and talked to the owner. The owner told him the same thing. All of us managers approached the owner at some point to get his attention about this issue. He wouldn’t budge. Three months later, all of the Boeing orders dried up. We didn’t get any from that point forward. We had to fire dozens of people and the company nearly went bankrupt.
Our verse today highlights why we need to listen to each other in this life, “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” Now, to be clear, you shouldn’t be listening to people who love to twist people with lies, or are crazy with conspiracy theories, or just actually have no good intentions toward us. But, for those we trust, for those we love, for those who we look up to as mentors, we need to be listening for the wisdom they might have. And, I’m not talking just about business stuff. I’m talking about our social, romantic, employment, spiritual, and physical well-being. Why? Because our pride will blind us to reality, and Satan will ambush us every chance he gets.
So, today, and every day, pray that God will put good people into your life to share their wisdom with you. Then, follow through and listen to their wisdom. They will be a blessing.