In our quest to maximise the potential of those we lead, thinking courageously is essential if we are to equally push others to think courageously too.
Historically, being vulnerable as a leader was viewed as a sign of weakness, because the traditional view of the workplace put too much of a premium on job titles – but leaders that are too proud restrict their employees and colleagues from cultivating wisdom.
Diversity of thought fuels wisdom. If you are courageous and wise enough to accept this fact, you will not be afraid to be more vulnerable. Take ownership of this mindset, and lead the new normal because knowledge is what is gathered over time and wisdom, in turn, enables us to act properly upon that knowledge.
During my somewhat new journey as a writer and entrepreneur, I have quickly been led to the conclusion that one of the primary responsibilities of a leader is to maximise the potential of those I serve and allow them to discover their own wisdom. We mustn’t encourage them to always follow and be guided by the wisdom of others – it’s this desire which has encouraged me to join and become an EWL Club Evolve mentor.
The all inclusive and industry wide approach taken by the Evolve mentoring programme really is a breath of fresh ego-free air. The club wonderfully sets itself apart from those existing and more ‘traditional’ mentoring programs where the diversity of thought and incorporation of peer to peer knowledge is arrogantly discouraged.
CREATING DISTINCTION FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP
Becoming wiser means allowing others to become wiser too. If you don’t fuel wisdom in others, it makes it difficult for any organisation or movement to sustain competitive advantage over time. This is what happens when people get caught in the trap of an executive-mindset – expecting employees to do (execute) what they are told, rather than encouraging independent thinking from each team member and the diversity of thought that allows us to seize opportunities previously unseen.
Are you creating distinction for your leadership by enabling your team to share their own thoughts and perspectives and be original too? Everyone sees the world and their place at work differently. Do you expect others to mimic your way of thinking or are you courageous enough to let them create their own distinction?
Why is cultivating wisdom in the world be it in the workplace or in our personal lives so important? During a time when businesses, brands and individuals are attempting to break free from the status quo and reinvent themselves, two factors are different today than at any other time in modern history:
1. The speed of change is telling us that what may be relevant today, may be extinct sooner than you think.
2. A shift in the cultural demographic is telling us that it’s becoming less about the business defining the individual, and much more about the individual defining the business.
These two factors, especially in tandem, require us as leaders to cultivate more wisdom in the world. Just when I thought I had cracked a particular area in my industry and believed I had all the answers, the marketplace tells me otherwise. My courageousness to admit this vulnerability to you, so publicly, comes from the wisdom imparted on me to accept that I don’t have all the answers. More importantly what it also does is diversify my thoughts, and the thoughts of those around me to further fuel wisdom because collectively we have taken ownership of this mindset, and together can lead the new normal.
THE STRENGTHS IN VULNERABILITY
There is strength in vulnerability, something that many leaders fail to recognise. More typical is what most ask when this topic is raised: “Why do I need to be vulnerable? Doesn’t that make me look weak? Doesn’t it minimise my clout?”
In today’s society, the speed of change forces us as leaders to bring others into the fold, much quicker. The speed of change in the marketplace requires us to share challenges we wouldn’t have in the past and to be more transparent so that others don’t get blindsided and momentum is not disrupted. As such, being vulnerable is a sign of strength in the 21st century leader.
Beyond finding strength in vulnerability, leaders must continuously think courageously to push beyond our limits. As individuals, we have the endless capacity to extend our thinking, especially in the areas we are most passionate about. The key is to know what fuels the thoughts of those around you and what inspires them to achieve.
In our quest to maximise the potential of those we lead, thinking courageously is essential if we are to equally push others to think courageously. Leadership is about teaching others how to be courageous themselves. Your leadership is measured not only by your own courage, but by the wisdom and experience you share so that others might be courageous too.