Wisdom for Leaders
How well do you bring wisdom into your leadership?
Take our mini-assessment to find out.
Reflect on each statement and select an honest response. No registration required and your answers are anonymous.
30-35: Wisdom is an integral part of your leadership. You genuinely put the concerns of others first, while still being resolute and decisive when action needs to be taken and standing up for yourself when the situation calls for it. You don’t let ego get in the way of your leadership, and this inspires people to trust you and follow your lead. If you want to evolve your wise leadership even further, have a look at our tips below.
24-29: You bring wisdom into many areas of your leadership. Most of the time, you balance thinking about others with a confidence to get things done effectively. However, when you come under pressure, you may prioritize looking out for yourself, and this can lower the sense of safety among team members. Read our tips below to keep integrating wisdom into your leadership.
19-23: As you move through the work week, your wisdom levels vary. Beware of letting your ego get in the way. When you are putting yourself ahead of others, you may lose touch with reality as you seek out experiences and information that feed your ego. It could also be the contrary – allowing the perspectives of others to derail you and prevent you from taking bold decisions. Read our tips below to continue practicing wise leadership.
Below 19: With relatively low levels of confidence and other-orientation, you are at risk of being ineffective as a leader. Reflect on your focus on ‘you’ above others. Could it stem from a sense of insecurity? If so, you could appear confident on the surface, but seek validation from others by centering attention on yourself. When you begin to see your leadership as something to be done for others, your team members will be inspired to trust and follow you. Read our tips below.
Tips for increasing your wisdom
1. Be humble
Make a habit of taking a moment at the end of each day to reflect on all of the people that were a part of making you successful on that day. This helps you develop a natural sense of humility, by seeing how you are not the only cause of your success. End the reflection by sending a message of gratitude to at least one of those people.
2. Cultivate a Beginner’s Mind
Beginner’s Mind is the ability to stay radically open and to see reality with fresh eyes. With Beginner’s Mind, you marry your expertise and past experiences with openness and a lack of assumptions. Let your mind go back to the basics and view the world—and your business—as if you know nothing about it. By allowing your mind to see things with a fresh perspective, you’re apt to uncover new opportunities that you never realized were there.
3. Use 'we' language
Throughout the day, notice how often you use “I”, “my”, and “me” language. This self-referential language can limit our connection with others and is even correlated with higher levels of blood pressure and heart disease. Leaders using “we”, “you” and “us” more frequently are perceived as better leaders. Challenge yourself to shift towards an other-focused language.
4. Reward dissent
Most leaders say they want people to share concerns, raise objections, and point out issues, but then they rarely follow up by engaging with the dissenting views or celebrating the person who spoke up. Both actions are important to reinforce the message that dissent is truly welcomed. The next time you are in a meeting and are about to ask, “Does everyone agree?”, why not try asking instead, “Who would like to share why this is a bad idea?”
5. Check your motivation
Leadership is not about you, but about the people and the organization you lead. With selflessness, you take yourself out of the equation and consider the long-term benefits of others. Here is a simple way of checking whether you are selfless in your leadership: When you make decisions, check your motivation. Are you doing it for personal gain, or for the benefits of others? Be honest.