Wisdom is Not Enough: Reflections on Leadership and Teams

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It takes keen observation of details and, since a project leader needs to focus a lot of your attention on people, a keen understanding of how we work. Developing deep psychological insights into yourself and the people around you will enable you to read situations more accurately. This will enhance your perception of the wider context and of the deeper details, and therefore give you a better understanding of what is important and what things are secondary or peripheral.

Whatever you are considering, get into the habit of examining it from a series of different perspectives before you try to make an assessment. For example, think:.

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Use these different perspectives to build a more thorough understanding of a situation, rather than rushing towards judgment. Leaders can never remain static. And one thing that characterizes every individual widely regarded as wise is the way they constantly grow and develop their thinking and understanding of the world.

As a project leader, you must commit to this for yourself, and also facilitate it in your team. Wise leaders feel a powerful drive to find new and better ways to understand their world, interpret events, and make changes to create new ways of doing things. C ontemp lation and reflection are powerful ways to trigger personal growth. Taking time to do nothing else frees your mind of its routine busyness and so allows you to access lessons, understanding , and insights that have been developing quietly in the background processing of your unconscious mind.

The creativity you are seeking here is the integration of new experiences into an evolved world-view.

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Exemplary conduct must, of course be a given for a project leader. That said, the source of the standards against which people will measure exemplary differ from context to context and culture to culture. Wisdom lies in the ability to discern how a visionary insight can become a reality. We follow people when we believe that they can deliver their vision. Wise leaders know the importance of creating a succession of new leaders who can emulate, rise, and then evolve in their own way.

Because leadership wisdom understands the criticality of building sustainable leadership. In projects, this is less about giving material support, but more about the personal support you give, in terms of time and commitment. Perhaps the most powerful form of generosity for a leader to cultivate is spiritual generosity: the virtues of tolerance, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and selflessness. Those who are smart know how to look after themselves and, for those who are merely smart; this is often their first and only priority.

Putting yourself to one side opens up the greater objectivity of leadership wisdom. Governance is a vital aspect of project leadership. And decision-making is a core part of it. Wise decisions need to be informed by a profound sense of purpose and a commitment to addressing priorities.

Wise project leaders must be prepared to abandon past dogmas and engage in an open decision-making process, which is inquiry-led, rather than advocacy-led. This takes time.

Great Leaders Have No Rules

And good judgment includes the art of patience and the insight to know when the time is right. Reasoning well is an essential pre-requisite of good judgment, yet critical thinking is rarely taught in our schools. If you can adopt three values and then practice them and hone your skill and comfort levels with each, you will set yourself up for good judgment:. Equity and fairness arise from respect and wise leaders show that respect. If your leadership does not have an ethical or moral dimension, it can certainly produce smart outcomes, but can it ever be truly sustainable — let alone wise?

Leadership roles will often require this kind of courage, especially when presenting uncomfortable truths to people with more power or authority than you. However, the courage is not principally about diving in and responding boldly. It is more about facing up to the need to manage your emotional responses and to deal with theirs. Preparation is key, so project leaders need to practice delivering difficult messages with equanimity.

Wise leaders create authority through engaging effectively with their supporters, their doubters, and the neutrals alike. This creates the perception in all of them that you are a leader who has a right to lead. This needs to be especially true when the doubters remain unconvinced that the leader is right. I do not always have to believe you are right to perceive you as wise. Peter F. Everybody Matters. Bob Chapman. Warren G. The Ten Commandments for Business Failure.

Donald R. Trivion Books. Talent is Never Enough Workbook.

Gary B. The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership. Gary Burnison. Top Performance. Zig Ziglar. Believe and Achieve: W.

Clement Stone's 17 Principles of Success. W Clement stone.

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Tim Clark. Common Sense Supervision. Roger Fulton. Instaread Summaries. A New Breed of Leader. Sheila M. Ritch Eich.

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Common Sense Management. Fired Up or Burned Out. Michael L. Shoya Zichy. Hal o'Ween. Robert E. Sheila Murray Bethel. Rules and Tools for Leaders Revised. Perry M.

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