20 Ways to Spot Leaders with Understanding
All foolish leaders believe they understand things they don’t.
- Are cocky not confident – fearful.
- Pretend they like you when they don’t – manipulator.
- Reject authority – arrogant.
- Express anger quickly – impulsive.
- Blab rather than listen – know-it-all.
Leaders with understand know they don’t fully understand.
Leaders with understanding:
- Seek guidance as passionately as profit.
- Remain open and interested. Weak minds close; strong open. Fools know.
- Don’t have that, “can’t wait till you stop talking,” look in their eye.
- Speak well of others. Fools badmouth.
- Lean into insights from others wholeheartedly. Wise leaders always have stories about their wise teachers.
- Know how to change their mind without becoming wishy-washy.
- Spend time in self-reflection.
- Receive correction humbly and gratefully.
- Submit to, align with, and model organizational values.
- Remain cool when things get hot. People with understanding enjoy inner calm.
- Display optimism.
- Maintain focus.
- Know it takes time for people to say things they really believe. The first things people say usually aren’t the most important.
- Have track records of personal achievement.
- Resist pressure to conform with grace rather than anger. Weakness lashes out and bullies.
- Learn from the mistakes of others.
- Never laugh at injustice, scoff at abuse, or take advantage of those without power.
- Admire wisdom. The people you admire tell me who you want to be.
- Love learning. Ask leaders with understanding what they’re reading and their eyes light up.
- Development others.
Bonus: Leaders with understanding appreciate the wonder, privilege, and mystery of leadership.
Have you worked with a leader who had understanding? What were they like?
Which marks of understand do you find most important or challenging?
Check out the great list of leadership U’s on the Leadership Freak Facebook Page. While you’re there, add leadership V’s for tomorrow’s post.
I really like the post about foolish and understanding leaders. I agree that understanding leader look into eyes, and foolish leaders shift the attention by rotating their eyes,. They avoid looking into eyes. They have fear to be exposed. One very prevalent signal that foolish leaders reflect is that they please everyone who comes in the way. They do not challenge anyone. They speak more and listen less. They are fearful people who always look for shield. They also looks for some issues or news that they use to malign someone. I think they are double edged sword people who do more harm than help.
I have seen understanding leaders listen more and reply politely. They body language and tone of voice are in agreement. Foolish leaders on the other hand, portray different body language. Often their tone of voice and body language contradict each other.
There are some symptoms that can expose understanding and foolish leaders. Foolish leaders move around more than understanding leaders. Foolish leaders keep changing their statement depending upon the situation whereas understanding leaders take their position. Foolish leaders speak what can target someone or tarnish image of someone. Understanding leaders speak or suggest that can enhance or improve the image of others.
Thank you Ajay.
I get the sense of steadiness and consistency when I read your comment. Leaders with understanding are steady and consistent.
Your twenty remind me that I still have work to do (on me!)
I found 13 and 17 particularly insightful..
Thanks Ken. I with you… there’s a long way to go. 🙂 Cheers
Dan, reminds me that Foolish Leaders are convinced they have the right to make all the responsible decisions, while Smart Leaders understand they have the responsibility to make sure all the right decisions are made.
Great stuff today Dan,
my “U” word is Uberty…..means fruitful, abundant, productiveness.
Been absorbing Emmet Fox Sermon on The Mount, has his take on the Beatitudes………..By their fruits you will know them!
How many times I shared here………..RESULTS not Ingredients?
Seem others smarter and wiser than me been saying the same darn things for a very very very long time.
Have worked with Sponsors in AA that fit the criteria you mentioned.
Folks in business I have worked for, not so much, but ETERNALLY hopeful I will run into such a creature before my working days are over.
Marks I think are the coolest are Honest, OpenMinded, Willing and CURIOUS.
Folks when they don’t know nothing about something are incurably curious!!!!!!!!! They do not share uninformed opinions based on thin air, they just say, Hey I know nothing about that, might be useful to me if I take a look, then share an informed opinion with others.
Yeah THOSE kind of people are cool. Folks who don’t do that, really uncool, especially if they present themselves differently but when the time come to put up or shut up they stick their heads in the sand hoping no one sees they do not walk what they talk.
Yeah those are the lame ones.
Have a good one!
SP back to NOW!
Uberty … what a “U”! I’m going to try to use that in a sentence today.
I wonder what is the relationship between uber and uberty?
Uh two words with close to the same spelling??? Hehe
I hate tests!!!! Lol
SP is uber tuned!
Thanks I think what’s über mean???
Oh yeah spelled close to überty!!!!
Number 13 resonates with me. It boils down to patience and empathy. Things I know I have to work on. This seems to be the source of many issues in the workplace. Fingerpointing, gossip, and backstabbing all seem to root from a lack of understanding of others.
This has been an exciting series. Thanks.
Thank you Anthony.
I’m finding that a quietness inside me helps people eventually get to what’s really important to them… If I could give the young me one emotional quality, I think it would be internal quietness.
Dan, Great list. I printed it and placed it where I can see it throughout the day – to remind me what I still need to work on. Thanks
Thanks for sharing your journey! Best wishes
This made me think a lot about myself. Thanks!
Self-reflection is a sign of understanding. Best wishes
How awesome and inspiring… leaders this changes lives!!
Love the Bonus Dan! Honor, privilege and obligation, and that it is transitory in nature.
Also liked the emphasis of #5–>understanding leaders always have an aligned lesson learned from their mentors. Under that is, understanding leaders do KNOW its not about them.
I was very fortunate, by a huge stroke of luck to meet a mentor, who was in his 60’s and whom exuded the very eptiome of understanding for me. Funny thing is, he is possibly not even aware of the impact his behaviour had on me.
A few years back I took up a Lead position within a rural business that I quietly knew I had the ability to carry out but lacked that competent knowing that on a dialy basis that I was covering all bases to ensure I was on top of all tasks that would be most beneficial in making the business a success. Working away from a city environment and a hierarchial management structure I missed that interactive buzz, learning and mentoring that is shared amongst peers in order for one to become the best one can be and support others to do the same.
The gentleman would visit the site intermittently. If I strip the whole relationship back the basis of our shared understanding was built on trust. He took me “under” his wing, though he did “stand” beside me in doing so, speaking indirectly. He could see and understand my desire coupled with my teams, to solve problems within the business in order that progress was consistent. He knew the potential was there for me to effectively lead the team, dot the “i’s” cross the “T’s” and give honest feedback on where we were each day, with no bullshit !
Being in the room with him on the few occassions we met, made me feel calm, confident and aware of what I needed to do now and where I wanted to be mentally and emotionally once I had conquered my own doubts and insecurities. Anytime I feel preplexed, I can stil see him sitting across the table, arms folded, slight grin, cool as a cucumber and waiting for my answer to bubble to the surface, he had all the time in the world.
I decided after knowing him I wasn’t going to wait to be in my sixties to feel the way he looked, I was going to try and knock 20 years of that !! 🙂
Great stuff Imelda! The depth of his unconditional positive regard carries on, even in your writings! I can imagine seeing him just smilin and waiting.
funny old thing serrendiptiy and the circumstances and people who cross our paths quite unexpectedly and effect our worlds both directly and indirectly without expectation.
I always believe, it is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good, and when you believe that the significance in your own life lies in the power to impact others then every event is an opportunity for growth, if not for you, then a lesson to be shared for others to note and to possibly negate one’s own fears and beliefs.
The preacher usually preaches that which he fervently hopes to be true until convinced otherwise.
I suppose being a mum and grandmother leaves one’s mind open to change – for if we can’t llisten to the minds of the young and free spirited then we will forever be blinkered by our own limited beliefs.
Yes, I have worked with a leader who had understanding. Two, actually. And, this is a lot!
One, thirty years ago in India, and one two years ago (an American) in Switzerland.
I am privileged to know them
I will be starting a new job soon and my loving boyfriend recommended i read this and it has given me a lot of confidence.
Dan, I like your list of 20 traits of a true leader. I especially liked #20. It’s leaders growing leaders and we do need more true leaders. We’re getting bogged down in managers who are lost.
Loving your wisdom here – am interested in the link between understanding and compassion (for self, others and planet)
Was sent your blog by inspirational global catalyst for systems change in health care.
Delighted to have found you
Dan, thanks. This is a great reminder on what I need to fix very quickly.
as often happens, I have issues with some of these. Maybe it’s the implied “always” “never” etc of each trait (when it’s really not always or never) without taking in to account the fact that often people have reactions like these based on the horrid actions of other first. Not to say many aren’t spot on, but there are infinite shades of grey. Still, enjoying all these posts. 🙂
God humbles the arrogance of the foolish by His Grace hopefully we recognize these very important times of our teaching from God’s wisdom, always being taught he brings us from glory to glory it’s the journey of this Abundant Life he’s given just listen quietly and you’ll hear is wise teachings