Although the Free Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the main components of wisdom are knowledge, insight, and judgment. This dictionary states that wisdom is also based on having a wise attitude or beliefs, which directs someone to taking a specific course of action.
There is also a component of wisdom based on learning and understanding the teachings of individuals who were considered wise. As someone who has spent more than three decades consulting to, qualifying and training individuals in leadership positions, I have attempted to assist these individuals with the learning needed to provide them with wisdom.
However, unlike many other aspects and requires for someone to become an effective leader, wisdom is not predominantly about developing a team (except to the degree that the team can make someone “wiser”) but rather more about making the individual better at what he does (in fact, making the leader the best that he is capable of being). Therefore, the “I” in wisdom is extremely relevant.
There is a substantial difference between true wisdom and a leader simply believing that he is wise. In fact, an easy way to remember how essential wisdom is to leadership is to simply look at the letters that make up the word itself.
1. The “W” stands for the need for a leader to be wise. This wise status is not to be taken lightly, but rather must be a developed skill, based on continuous training and learning, as well as practice. It requires a leader to have the ability to understand, analyze, decipher, and act upon situations in a timely and decisive manner.
2. Of course, the “I” in wisdom is all about how, in leadership, there is a need for independent thought, and personal responsibility. A true leader can never pawn off a difficult situation, and must take the responsibility himself (thus the I).
3. The “S” is for the inner strength and fortitude required to be an effective leader. Leaders must be self- confident and always take personally satisfying action. They must never permit themselves to be swayed, biased or prejudiced by others, and must do whatever is in the best interests of their constituents.
4. The “D” stands for decisive decision making. Leaders must develop the skills, confidence, expertise and qualifications to be able to take decisive action, based on sound judgment and insight.
5. The “O” is for original or originality. While astute leaders learn from the past, they understand that conditions constantly change, and require a fresh (or original) look at situations, conditions, priorities, programs, etc.
6. Finally, the “M” means both meaningful and merge. What an effective leader needs to do is be a meaningful individual, who has a vision, with specific purposes and goals. He must also be able to merge all the needs of his organization, and create a program or course of action that will best serve his organization.
Are you an effective leader? Do you have all the conditions of wisdom that are needed to be the best leader you might possibly be?
By Nathan Dean