I was eating dinner two weeks ago and observed a gentleman sitting across the restaurant aisle. He had a shaved head and the most tremendous beard I have ever seen. Being from South Central PA, I get to see plenty of men with superb facial hair. This gentleman’s beard was spectacular. Even from ten feet away, I observed the texture and attention to manscaping. Respect.
Those of you who know me personally understand that next to observing everything, the thing I enjoy the most is conversing with everyone. I just had to know the story of the beard and the man behind it. He informed me that it started several years earlier and he just kept it going. His wife, sitting next to him, chimed in that although skeptical at first, she now loves it. And then he said something quite profound, “You’ve never met a wise man with a bald chin.”
This remark struck a chord. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived all over the world and experienced varied cultures, perhaps it's all those Sunday school picture books, or perhaps my love of all things Christmas, but he had a point. According to The Art of Manliness, the ability to grow a beard is what separates boys from men. The beard has historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. This gentleman was correct! My mind flashed through pictures of Vikings, Lincoln, Sophocles, da Vinci, Jesus Christ, Grizzly Adams, Mr. T., and even a young Charlie “T”!!
A Young Charlie "T"
Fast forward five days and I was getting on my monthly Zoom call with my three advisers. We're a group of four speakers committed to use our talents to the utmost of our abilities and to encourage one another. As I watched my three mentors, it struck me. I realized they all had beards!! This realization was additional validation that these individuals were, in fact, my three wise men! I told them what I had heard from the gentleman at the restaurant, and they all laughed and whole-heartedly agreed.
My point isn’t that you need to stop listening to men with bald chins. My point is that if you listen to what’s going on around you and become genuinely interested in others, you too become wiser. My point is also that you need to be intentional about surrounding yourself with those who can build you up and hold you accountable. A monthly Zoom call is a perfect way to think, pair, and share in a way that makes you wiser. My favorite Ken Blanchard quote is, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” There’s a whole lot of wisdom out there just waiting to pour into your life.
This week, identify two or three individuals with whom you share values and professional goals. Then send them an email or message and ask if they would like to join you in a monthly online mastermind group. Next, download the Zoom app and get it scheduled. With today’s technology it is no problem to connect in a virtual, yet authentic way, so you too can grow in wisdom and statue…and maybe even a beard!