I learnt recently that WD-40 stands for “Water Displacement 40”. The 40 means it was his 40th attempt at developing the product.
The inventor Norm Larsen had tried 39 times to find a way to displace water to stop rusting in the aerospace industry.
When he finally succeeded on his 40th attempt he created a product that has far more uses that just the problem he was seeking to solve.
WD-40 would not exist if he & his team of three had given up on their 31st attempt.
I love that each time I use this product, the name itself, will be a reminder that sometimes failure upon failure is needed before success can occur.
You’ve heard the saying “Leaders are readers.”
I no longer believe that is true!
That’s because just reading for reading’s sake is not a healthy leadership trait.
Great leaders are educators.
Meaning, they are always learning.
And always teaching.
They do this by reading, for certain! They are also podcast listeners; video watchers; conference attenders and intellectually curious.
Leaders learn wide, across many topics. This stops narrow-mindedness and gives them the ability to point the people they lead in the right direction.
Leaders also learn deep, digging into a few topics in detail. Which gives them the wisdom and experience to radically change how they lead.
People don’t want to follow a leader with empty knowledge.
People want to follow leaders with wisdom.
Great leaders are great learners and therefore great educators.
Are you learning wide & deep to become the leader you need to be?
Footnote worth remembering: The saying “leaders are readers” was coined in the 1800s when reading was about the only option for learning.