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Finding Wisdom Throughout the Leadership Learning Journey


Wed Feb 01 2017

Finding Wisdom Throughout the Leadership Learning Journey-b7a0949be7e57cc9dcbfd69f77f418d12509b94623bfca27eb3e05adb3decf7b

Life is a learning journey, and wisdom is one of the great outcomes of exceptional experiences, engaging relationships, and fantastic discoveries. Leadership is the utilization and application of wisdom. As a result, leaders have diverse leadership styles, competencies, and behaviors. And wisdom is used to build successful business accomplishments through the dynamic influence on employees.

The Reflection and the Direction

Leadership is about motivating employees and gaining their commitment to drive business performance and address the accelerated pace of change. Wise leaders are in a learning journey of constant growth, evolving and developing creative thinking capabilities and competencies throughout the journey. They have learned to engage, not control, others; gain regular and constructive feedback; and have a passion for driving corporate successes and outcomes. Greater self-awareness and a willingness to take risks have helped build outstanding results. Leadership wisdom has clearly affected their ability to add value to their organization.


The Journey and the Learning

Effective leadership is about driving strategies and actions into outcomes, and gaining positive results based on a focus specific to reality and values. To be a flexible and engaging leader, and to meet the demands of the many evolving business situations, key leadership competencies must be utilized. They are abilities such as self-awareness, the desire to motivate others, empathy, and using social skills to influence others. This is the wisdom learned throughout the leadership learning journey. 

Wise leaders have learned to handle challenges and utilize exceptional judgment in driving difficult decisions with a focus on authenticity and openness. They have found ways to know people well, read them with high levels of accuracy, and gather details for the greatest depth of understanding. Competencies have been developed to strategically drive a dynamic vision and inspire a common direction for the future. Strong and transparent communication is necessary to enhance results. And becoming a more effective leader can clearly provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Discoveries become part of personal wisdom along with a focus on long-term goals. Wisdom is formulated based on a combination of the leader’s values, intelligence, and judgment. It contains the leader’s passion, risk-taking, and willingness to share joy.

The Discovery and the Outcome

As already stated, leadership wisdom is based on experiences, expertise, and knowledge. It has an impact on judgements, decisions, and actions. The learned focus on the future is based on a clear purpose and mission, benefits to society, and the ability to build economic value. Leaders with wisdom have learned to actively listen, build engaging relationships, and communicate with high levels of authenticity and clarity. They have learned the true value of face-to-face conversations and powerful connections, resulting in the ability to drive successful business actions into outcomes. 

Here is some wisdom I’ve gathered in my leadership learning journey:

  • Always find the good in everything.

  • Use current knowledge to build future experiences.

  • Make careful choices and turn dreams into reality.

  • Accept challenges and stretch your imagination.

  • Appreciate and grow from the contributions of others. 

The preface to Frederic Hudson and Pamela McLean’s book, Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, closes with a personal reflection from Frederic on his “wake-up call” at the age of nine in 1943. His nurse, Susan, provided a simple description of wisdom specific to dealing with his near-paralyzing polio (he recovered after several months in the hospital):

  • See how you want your life to unfold.

  • Look for your best choices.

  • Trust your vision.

  • Create a detailed plan to get you from here to there.

  • Take full responsibility for your life course: Manage every detail.

  • Find the best resources available for empowering your future. Network, train, travel, and seek adventure.

  • Learn how to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Make learning your central business.

  • Live on the outer edge of your possible reaches, not on the inner edge of your security.

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