Leadership Skills: Wisdom Introduction

Wisdom is the ultimate leadership capability.  Great leaders throughout history with wisdom’s depth of insight and understanding have led our countries and our companies in times of challenge and broad reaching, long-lasting achievement.  Wisdom is a quality that we all wish we had.  It offers us accurate answers for our challenges that, when we have listened carefully enough, lead us in the best direction.  The obvious test for these wise choices is the proof we get both in the moment and with the rigor of time.

Wisdom is the end result of intelligent awareness, engaged experience, and something deeper and more elusive.  Throughout the ages, it has been the stock in trade of sages.  Sages are those our ancestors could turn to for guidance in times of grave turmoil and strife.  Sages have always been those who spent the majority of their lives in study and training to gain profound qualities and skills that also included the deep insight and capacity of wisdom.

Today, CEOs and leaders are continually challenged to make decisions with insufficient information.  Their goal and hope is for their decisions to be both successful and enduring.  The most astute learners among these use the decisions that do not succeed as conscious training tools for their companies, countries and themselves.  Success from their failures then becomes the personal and organizational enrichment gained in the combination of experience, perspective, discernment, character growth, and intuition.  Over time, this leads some leaders to wisdom.  Leaders with wisdom are and have always been in high demand and are in chronically short supply today.  Wisdom is that holy grail of skills that leaders unconsciously and sometimes consciously strive for in each decision they make.

As the sages knew, there are actually methods and processes that improve one’s potential for achieving wisdom sooner.   This article is an introduction to two different series of discussions.  One series will be on Leadership Skills and their use and development.  The second series will walk through some of the more technical aspects of developing wisdom as a consistently available skill and its applications in leadership and guidance.   I have gained these insights and experiences with wisdom as a surprising side effect of more than twenty years of study and learning in other deeper pursuits. The leadership skills insights are a direct result of fifteen years of coaching executives and leaders to grow them.

I believe it is time in this world for us to require our leaders and ourselves to be wise.  My wish is to challenge those leaders in both business and public life who have courage, honesty, and commitment to recognize and pursue their desire for wisdom.  This is not a quick solution to our current challenges, nor is it ever an easy path.  My purpose is to guide those who are willing to take the challenge and do the work to develop wisdom.  I will explain the process in much more detail as we go forward.

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