A leader with wisdom seems foolish to fools.
I called a businessperson for advice. He made some good points. But, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take his advice. It felt awkward. It was hard.
Wisdom often seems wrong to the foolish.
The next day, I asked another businessperson for his thoughts on the same subject. He gave me the same advice I had received the day before.
It’s astounding how certain we can be when we’re wrong.
- Make choices based on one option.
- Anticipate everything will go as planned.
- Defend their position, rather than exploring alternatives. Stay the course, even when it isn’t working.
- Believe head nodders. Reject constructive dissent.
- Gather information, but don’t take action.
The number one mark of wise leaders is passion for wisdom.
Wise leaders have open hearts, hungry minds, and active hands. Fools have self-serving hearts, closed minds, and indulgent hands.
7 ways to pursue wisdom:
- Commit yourself to becoming a skillful leader. (I substitute “skillful” for “wisdom” to elevate wisdom above intellect or theory.)
- Move from “what” to “who.” Before you ask, “What should I do,” ask, “Who might know?”
- Meet and talk with skillful people every chance you get. Ask things like:
- Who has made a difference in your life? How?
- What matters?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you learning?
- Set up calls with top-of-class people. Aim extremely high. Keep trying.
- Quietly whisper in your head, “What does this person do extremely well? How might I emulate them?”
- Ask second and third questions.
- Reflect on the trajectory of your journey. Where are you going? Be brutal with yourself.
Bonus: Figure out what isn’t working and stop doing it.
How might leaders pursue wisdom?
How might you pursue wisdom this week?