Education News

Great Leaders Welcome The Truth

We often witness individuals who seem to fear learning the truth, either because of some sort of fear, or to protect some prejudice, prejudgment or bias. Especially during political campaigns, many of these individuals seem to treat truth as an enemy, replacing it with whatever spin, half – truth, or misinterpretation of data and facts best serves their predetermined point of view. However, truly great leaders welcome the truth, because whether they like it or not, actual facts are needed to make wise judgments. Wittgenstein wrote, “When one is frightened of the truth, then it is never the whole truth that one has an inkling.” Great leaders realize that the facts and the realities do not change imply because we don’t like them, and an understanding and desire for truths distinguishes great leaders from the wannabes.
1. There is generally some truth in almost any statement. For example, in advertising, while actual lies are generally avoided (if, for no other reason, than fear of legal ramifications), how these facts are interpreted often creates the desired spin. In recent years, for example, in politics, the many fact checking organizations are constantly discovering that statements made in political campaigns, etc., are often, at best, incomplete and misleading. Products are often marketed the same way, when every cable company claims to better, with better services at better prices, and every cellphone company states that it is better than its competition. Wouldn’t we all be better served by the truth?
2. Truth is a factor in a number of ways when it comes to the quality of leadership. It is obvious that truly great leaders are honest, and commit to absolute integrity. However, it is not only about simply being truthful, but rather how a leader gathers information. The information gathered generally determines the facts or basis by which decisions are made, and if those decisions are made on the basis of less than the whole truth, the probability of errors being made, and poor judgments, are compounded. Wisdom comes about as a result of a combination of attitude, knowledge, judgment, and self – confidence, so obviously if the basis of the knowledge is less than completely factual, there is a large possibility of misinterpretation or less than a thoroughly planned and vetted action. True leadership is about taking timely action, and that requires comprehending, in detail the possible ramifications, and examining as many alternatives as possible.
Our greatest leaders always want all the facts. They may not always like them, but realize that there is a need for a reality check.

Higher Education

Faith Centered Leadership: Wise Leaders… Foolish Leaders

Have you ever wished that you could give a colleague some wise feedback that would help him or her in their career, a project, or some aspect of their responsibilities? But you couldn’t because you recognized that they weren’t receptive to it, or they would have difficulty understanding it. You recognized that their perception or beliefs about what they were doing were so strong or deeply rooted, that it would be difficult for them to see any other point of view. You may have even recognized that this could develop into a serious professional derailer for the person. Maybe you carefully planned a moment in time to have the conversation, only for the person to rebuff your remarks and try to make YOU think that you were foolish.
As much as you wanted to help the other person, to help them see the folly of their ways, you knew that you had to wait until they WANTED to listen to you. You had to wait until they fell and got bruised and tried to figure out what happened and why… then maybe, just maybe you’ll be able to help them recognize how their own behavior or decisions contributed to their situation.
Realistically, none of us are completely wise or completely foolish. There are simply areas in our lives where we exhibit more or less wisdom (sometime a lot more or a lot less). The goal is to increase the areas where wisdom shines through; to seek the counsel of other people who are wise; to be able to recognize the difference between wise and foolish behavior.
This is even more important for leaders, because their wise or foolish decisions impact not only themselves but others around them. A CEO who makes an irrational or foolish product decision can drive the company’s stock downward effecting investors and employees. A CFO who foolishly covers up material financial information similarly damages the corporate reputation and subjects the firm to negative sanctions. The greater your responsibility, the greater your need for wisdom. The greater your wisdom, the greater responsibility will come to you.
So pursue wisdom with all your heart, mind and strength.
Faith Centered Leadership Words of Wisdom
Wise leaders know that they don’t know everything. Foolish leaders think that they do know everything.
Wise leaders don’t need to tell others how vast their wisdom is. Foolish leaders need to boast about the wisdom they think they have.
Wise leaders seek more understanding to make good decisions. Foolish leaders settle for little understanding to make poor decisions.
Wise leaders consider the source of information before acting on it. Foolish leaders run with information before checking its veracity.
Wise leaders aren’t afraid to stand alone. Foolish leaders generally stand with the crowd.
Wise leaders do what is right, even if others think it’s wrong. Foolish leaders do what is wrong, because others think it’s right.
Wise leaders anticipate the future consequences of their present decisions. Foolish leaders live in the present and ignore the future.
Wise leaders value the good in others. Foolish leaders mock the good in others.
Wise leaders are rarely wise 100% of the time, but they recognize and learn from their moments of foolishness. Foolish leaders are not as wise as they think they are but they seldom recognize all the foolish moments they have.
Wise leaders freely share their wisdom with others, because they recognize that the collective wisdom of a group will improve the entire team. Foolish leaders guard their moments of wisdom closely, as if by sharing it they will lose it.
Copyright 2012 Priscilla Archangel