On Becoming a Wise Leader

The pinnacle of respect in life is when someone acknowledges that you are a wise person. The acquisition of wisdom should be your lifelong search. Wisdom is especially critical for those in leadership positions. There is no age limit when one can be wise but generally it is somewhat proportional to the years of experience one brings to the table. That is one of the redeeming qualities of getting old or having years of valuable experience.

As you strive to build more success into your life and career, why not use these five stages of dealing with wisdom as your guidance tool. That would truly be a wise move on your part.

Collect Wisdom: Leaders never stop learning. Part of the learning curve requires studying everything one can acquire to help him or her perform their job better each day. Some ways wisdom can be gleaned is from books, observation of how other leaders perform their work, listening to CD’s, watching videos, attending training sessions, or talking to other leaders. What is critically important is that you don’t rest on your laurels and think “I’m a good enough leader. I don’t need to learn anything new.” Once you get comfortable, you’ve begun to lose ground. It takes a constant effort to be wise. It only takes a lazy learner to remain dumb.

Categorize Wisdom: It does one no good to have the world’s greatest library of information if they cannot find information when they need it. Get organized. Become familiar with the content of your books. Clip articles and file them with proper labels. Sort tapes, videos, CD’s in a manner that content is easily found. Use your computer to compartmentalize topics. Any research you record from seminars, the internet, newsletters, articles, etc needs to be placed in a folder that is easily identified. I use “research” as a folder and list files under that topic. When I open this folder, I can quickly scan for information and open the right file. You should be able to locate information in a minute or two if you are well organized. If you end up going on an information safari, you’re in a jungle. Get it cleaned up.

Meditate on Wisdom. It does you no good to collect information if you don’t read it and think about how you might use the information in a leadership role. Not everything you discover will work for you. It takes time to process the information in light of your circumstances. Doing so allows for a better decision process. Early in my career as a manager, I worked for someone who used to tell me, “Billy, you need to just sit down and think sometimes.” I was young, competitive, and wanting a quick resolution to everything. I didn’t have time to waste thinking. I needed action. What a stupid mistake! Fortunately, as I matured on the job, the message finally sank into my brain. I now appreciate how important just thinking can be. I hope you also see the value of this habit. It is a dramatic time saver.

Memorize it. You can only use what you know. Having knowledge in a computer file or on a book shelf is useless unless you know it. As you collect, categorize and meditate on wisdom, lock the ideas into your brain. Then, when you face a tough leadership decision, you’ll have a resource readily available to you. I’m very impressed with people who can easily share thoughts that are problem solvers. I appreciate a wise individual. Such people are reassuring and confidence builders.

Share it. The true leader willingly shares their knowledge. Serving others is the ultimate act of kindness and leaders who make others stronger by sharing their knowledge get it. They understand that hording knowledge is selfish and unkind. Never be threatened by someone to such a degree that you do not willingly help them. Situations where such individuals do us harm are rare. Open your heart in a trusting fashion and share your wisdom. Becoming the teacher is very satisfying.

So there you have it—the cycle of finding and sharing wisdom for the greater good of mankind. Want respect? Be wise. Want to be considered wise? Give your knowledge away. Doing these things will bring more joy into your life than a person deserves.

 

Billy Arcement, MEd is a Professional Speaker, Leadership Strategist and President of The Results Group. He wrote the book, Searching for Success, now internationally published. He co-authored, Journeying on Holy Ground—Christian Strategies to Reach Your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destiny.   ©2012. All rights reserved. Use by permission.