We live in a world that loves speed – our computers, our microwaves, our cars, texting is quicker than a call and tweets are quicker than a text. We’re always looking for a faster way – and leaders are the worst offenders! In Great Leaders GROW, Ken Blanchard and I outline four strategies for leaders who want to become leaders for life. The fourth of these is Walk Toward Wisdom – and it is not a text or a tweet, it’s a life-long pursuit.
We may see wisdom as beyond the reach of mere mortals. In our minds, it can often seen like something that only a few can achieve. This is not a valid precept regarding wisdom. Wisdom is within our reach, but it must be sought.
So how does a leader Walk Toward Wisdom? Here are a few ideas.
Self-evaluation – Slow down and ask yourself, what’s working? What’s not working? What have others done that has worked in the past? What are my strengths? How can I better leverage them? What are my weaknesses? How can I mitigate them? Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Wisdom will always remain outside your grasp if you don’t evaluate your experiences.
Feedback – Seek out the feedback of others. Regardless how candid you try to be during self-evaluation, you’ll never be able to overcome your own bias and perspective. Ask others for feedback. This can be done in many forms – formally and informally. Just do it. Ken Blanchard calls feedback “the breakfast of champions.” It’s also the breakfast of great leaders!
Counsel – Feedback is about the past – counsel is about the future. When we seek counsel from others, especially those who have accumulated more experience than we have, we are actually borrowing their wisdom. If we are open to their counsel, if we guard our heart against pride and arrogance, we can benefit greatly from the counsel of others. Over time, this practice will add to our own store of wisdom.
Don’t wait. Decide today: I will Walk Toward Wisdom.