They say with age comes wisdom, and the older I get, the more I believe this to be true. To be clear, wisdom is not knowledge, but the ability to see the landscape accurately where you’re positioned, recognize your strengths and limitations, and influence those around you to contribute their best work. With each passing year, as I rely less on my own fallible knowledge and misunderstandings and instead draw out those who become the heroes of their own stories, the more I see great leadership emerge.
The best leaders aren’t those who come up with the best ideas, but those who encourage the team conversations that contribute diverse thoughts, debate ideas, and develop a forward plan. The best leaders usually share their opinions last so as not to intimidate or direct the conversation. However, they ensure that the team identifies, discusses, and considers the risks and merits in the decision-making process.
The best leaders ask lots of questions that drive discussion, because they have enough wisdom to know they might not know it all. Many leaders, who practice this approach, usually have a solution in mind. These leaders are often surprised how the outcome is a modified version or a completely different approach. The benefit of helping others solve their problems is greater buy-in and commitment to carry out the consensus solution.
Did you think the best leaders had the best ideas? Perhaps you may rethink what you thought. I once read, the best leaders let go of their ego. How well do you agree with this statement?
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership, sales, and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life story. She administers assessments, designs, and facilitates workshops, and coaches individuals, teams, and businesses. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com