There are many skills the best leaders have in their armoury. But I think one trumps all of them.
Mostly because one skill, one virtue, is the enabler – the one that helps them decide which skill to use when.
Like many here on LinkedIn, I’ve spouted my thoughts and experiences. But when I write, I’m always weary of it sounding like dogma. Like “the 10 rules”. Like the “these are the 7 skills every CEO \*must\*master” clickbait crew.
Because the application of a skill, of an approach, of a technique is so dependent on context.
And wisdom is the ability to listen and recognise the context, and then to choose what to do in that context.
Do you lead by leading, or by facilitating? Or both, or neither? It depends where you find yourself and what needs to get done.
Do you negotiate to solve (as I wrote a couple of posts back) or to win? Actually, sometimes it does need a win. Other times a solve. Yet other times, just to listen. And yet others, actually to lose. It depends.
Do you lead to serve, or to ask others? It depends. What does your team need? What does your purpose need? And where do you find yourself?
Wisdom is to listen to what is happening, to connect with your values and purpose, and then to choose how to move (or not) appropriately. And to learn from that movement so you can be wiser next time.
Beware the leader who only has dogma. It may work for a while. Some do manage to get away with it for a long time, leaving collateral damage in their wake.
But to have one or two “killer” skills, without growing the wisdom as to when to use them and how is to shortchange yourself, your team and your purpose.
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