The Golden Attribute of Leadership You Must Pursue

The song says, “Everybody plays the fool sometimes.” But the goal is wisdom, not less foolishness.

The golden attribute of leadership is wisdom.

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.” Solomon


Lack of wisdom:

#1. Passion – without wisdom – is dangerous. Don’t simply follow your passion; follow it wisely.

#2. Decision-making is persistent mistake-making apart from perception. Pattern recognition – the ability to notice the wall you’re banging your head against – is insightful.

Mistakes are useful to prudent leaders and patterns for the stubborn.

#3. Vision goes astray deprived of insight. Vision, like everything else during turbulence, is iterative.

Insight adapts to the wind. Foolishness ignores danger and presses forward.

#4. Planning is destructive apart from reflection and good sense. All the planning in the world can’t compensate for lack of sense.

(Insight, perception, reflection, and prudence are aspects of wisdom.)

Wisdom defined:

Wisdom is action that brings value to self, relationships, and the community at large*. Specifically, wisdom is the ability to bring aspiration into reality. (Assuming your aspiration brings positive value to you and others.)

Some leaders bring value to themselves and harm others. This isn’t wise.

Wisdom isn’t intelligence. Some of the smartest people you know make choices that harm themselves or others. Consider an angry smart person who chooses resentment.

Foolishness sacrifices the future on the altar of the immediate. Wisdom balances short-term and long-term considerations.

Wisdom navigates the challenges of:

  1. Adapting to existing environments.
  2. Changing existing environments.
  3. Creating new environments.*

(I am indebted to *Dr. Robert Sternberg for his theory of wisdom.)

Wisdom includes:

  1. Humility.
  2. Curiosity.
  3. Heart.
  4. Foresight.
  5. Integrity.

Wisdom, like every other great thing, is pursued and nurtured, not attained.

(Tomorrow, how to increase wisdom and bring aspiration to reality.)

What’s the golden leadership attribute from your point of view?

How do you define wisdom? What does wisdom include? Exclude?