Would your team say that you’re a wise leader? Let’s talk about the power of influence, and how we can all improve our leadership skills often by taking a step back, acknowledging our flaws, and committing to improvement over time.
If you’re looking to optimise your results and revolutionise your leadership styles, get in contact with Next Practice Education and discover our suite of business improvement strategies and coaching sessions
Leading through Wisdom
As a coach to current and aspiring business owners, team leads and managers, smart people stand out to me with intellectual power and depth of knowledge on many subjects.
The tougher question is whether you are also wise. Wise in the sense of cultivating the right relationships, understanding team dynamics, and keeping to the correct side of the ethical line to maintain the trust of team members and customers alike. It’s a long list and not easy to walk that line!
Of course, if you are new to running a business or managing a team, it’s especially hard to anticipate correctly and respond wisely to complex business situations. Unfortunately, in today’s world where the catch cry is, ‘I’m time poor’, none of us can afford to make all the mistakes personally and learn from them.
So, we recommend some key strategies for moving more quickly into the wise category:
1. Keep your eye on the big picture, to temper your passion.
If your passion is a new technology or system, make sure you understand how it fits into the existing social culture, the environment, and political realities. Wise business leaders know how to communicate a solution’s value in the context of this world view and make decisions accordingly.
2. Stay aware and sensitive to the perspectives of others.
Wise business leaders never forget that they need other people’s support and help to make things happen. It may be necessary to curb your ego and self-dependence.
That means you must be authentic and do things appropriately, based on their perspective, not yours. It is empathy personified.
For example, after Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia, he wisely recognized a growing interest in helping the environment and capitalized on it by dedicating a percentage of sales to environmental needs. This locked in engagement from his employees and customers alike.
3. Be willing to adapt quickly as conditions change.
I find that some of the smartest entrepreneurs and leaders are the most reluctant to accept new realities, and unwisely keep charging down a road now leading in a new direction. Steve Jobs was a victim of this mentality in the early days of Apple and was pushed out of his early CEO role before he could make it great.
4. Look for ways to make everyone a winner with you.
Some leaders must prove they are right, and others are wrong, whereas wise leaders seek ways to strategically satisfy all parties. Learn to plant the right seed, and instead of convincing people they’re wrong, find common ground and respectfully persuade them that what they really want is your desired outcome.
Would Your Team Say That You’re A Wise Leader?
5. Learn to let go of small things and hold on to strategy.
Being willing to concede and learn, without giving up on your direction, is indicative of a wise leader. You can be in charge, without always being in control (this is a big one!). The key here is to learn to delegate the operational decisions, to give you time to manage strategic ones. Keep yourself aligned with long-term goals and executing on them. This is the key!
6. Act in the interest of expanding the total market.
In business, just leading your company is not enough. Sometimes, to scale the market you need to drive expansion by fostering common platforms. For example, Elon Musk offered his battery patents free to all takers in order to expand the electric car market and provide a common infrastructure. This is bringing the tribe along on the journey.
7. Understand and exercise sound political judgment.
Wise leaders read the viewpoints, emotions, and power positions of others through monitoring their everyday verbal and nonverbal communication. These leaders also carefully consider timing, when to make a move or to discuss issues or mobilize other leaders to focus on common objectives.
Our coaching goal here is to help you evolve from smart to wise by providing guidance and insights from our successes and failures plus others before you, to reduce your learning time and pains. Also, I’m convinced that smartness alone is not enough to assure success.
We need more wise leaders to create sustainability and stability in our businesses and communities alike. You too can choose to be one of these leaders
For more information, please reach out to me and ask about our coaching programs.
Keep Scaling Up, and Go well!
Nick Fagan and the Next Practice Education Team.