A Gem From Tom Zender – Missing Something? The One Thing Every Leader Must Have
Missing something? The one thing every leader must have
Endless. The ongoing lists of top characteristics, skills, and behaviors of the best business leaders don’t stop. From books to blogs, research papers, and courses, leadership is described collectively as a business superpower. Yet the one must-have characteristic of top leaders is missing from these descriptions. And from too many leaders. What is it?
Call it “Mature Wisdom.” No, not maturity and wisdom acquired in years. Maturity obtained by learning it. Wisdom by gained by learning it. Just as leaders learn to lead.
“Leaders are made, they are not born.” – Vince Lombardi, former coach of the NFL Green Bay Packers football team
“Mature Wisdom” and outstanding leadership
When maturity (acting as an adult) and wisdom (having good judgment) are combined in a business leader, a powerful synergy is molded. The qualities of this enlightened leader create indelible visions, unstoppable teams, and successful, sustainable businesses. These leaders:
Do not concern themselves with situations they cannot control.
Listen carefully to the ideas of their teams and others.
Handle unexpected, unpleasant events with composure.
Accept responsibility for their decisions without alibis or blaming others.
Act freely without emotional subservience to others.
Follow the Golden Rule: treating others as they the leader want to be treated.
Welcome constructive input gracefully and gratefully as a means to improve.
Trust a Divine Providence as an ultimate guide for their lives.
Are thoughtful and sensitive toward all others, equally.
Take pleasure when others can accomplish things better than themselves.
Can accept reasonable delays and can adapt to the needs of others.
And, they are flexible, knowing that they are not the mediator of the universe.
Further, these “Mature Wisdom” leaders avoid persistent fault-finding with people, situations, and things. Additionally, they:
Have a positive view of themselves and their feelings are not hurt easily.
See infinite shades of gray, rather than black and white (or all or none).
Stay away from self-pity, uncontrolled anger, or flashes of ego.
Forgive quickly and release guilt, resentments, and envy.
Are not ruled by their emotions and can make wise decisions as a result.
Express honest happiness when others experience success – no jealousy.
Endure losses without condemning anyone, including themselves.
Plan things in advance, rather than making impulsive, moment-driven decisions.
Gratefully helps others with no expectation of reward of any kind.
Feel that they are part of humankind in total, giving their part to the whole.
Mentor and teach their people the above skills and behaviors.
The point is that beyond all other good leadership qualities, including effective communications, relationship building, empowering others, successful delegation, visioning and planning – Mature Wisdom is the “secret sauce” of successful leadership.
And one more thing …
If the one thing leaders must have is “Mature Wisdom,” the next thing they must have is “Authenticity.” Having both is a magnetic attraction that engages other like-minded people. When we think, speak, and act from our authentic inner self we build trust – the not-so-secret-sauce of business success. Authenticity does not answer the question of “Who am I?” Authenticity affirms, “Who I am.”
The bottom line
“Mature Wisdom.” It is the one thing above all that all great leaders must have. And it is learned, not inbred. “Mature Wisdom” is a combined set of skills and behaviors that create unstoppable success. Add “Authenticity.” Be a contagious leader.