Last week I brought up the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I could go into depth to explain the differences between the two, but I believe the themes and quotes in this article present the differences quite well – better than I could. A little disclosure here. These themes and quotes were presented by Dr. Alan Kluge, George Fox University, on June 8, 2017. I found this knowledge to be quite valuable and too good not to share. Knowledge gained and shared when appropriate, is wisdom.
If you like what you read here, or have additional quotes, themes, or other comments, please post them below or send us an email. I look forward to your responses.
Until next week,
Sayings on wisdom
Leon F Selzer, (2012). The wisest quotes on wisdom. Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201204/the-wisest-quotes-wisdom
One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities as a leader, is the development of others. The opportunity to help shape the methods by which your budding leader motivates and inspires others, and achieves their goals is wonderful. Yet, it can be quite challenging at the same time.
One thing I find challenging is the idea (that many organizations follow) that it is better to invest into the already successful, then to invest in those struggling. That is, the organization should invest resources (time, money, etc.) into training, educating, supporting, and so on, the individuals and teams that are already producing results. The idea is, investing in someone that is already achieving, is more likely to bring a greater return on the investment.
The idea is, why invest in someone ok to make them good, when you can invest in someone good to make them great. Isn’t it better to have someone great on your team then someone good? From a business stance, this makes sense. As a business owner, I would rather invest in people (or things) able to bring a greater return on my investment.
However, should this same methodology be followed when dealing with people? Especially, when, as a leader, we are to motivate, inspire, train, equip, enable… others to achieve? Should a leader ignore the challenging potential leader, simply because the “return” may not be as great? What if the return is not immediate, what if the benefits may only be realized years down the road, what then? What if the return is not even for you or your organization, rather, the good of society or simply another organization?
At what point, should we stop investing in others because the return may not be as great as investing in someone else? Is it giving up on one person while investing in another?
Perhaps I am wrong, but I think leaders are to build other leaders regardless of where they may end up. If someone has the potential, build them. If they are ok, but a little time and energy can make them good, then do it. Investing in others should be about them.
However, if it is a business decision, and the potential leader is not the right fit, then help them find their fit – in your organization or another. You are not doing them – or yourself – any good by keeping them around for the sake of doing right by them. Instead, help them find their fit, and lead them from where you are and where they land. This implies that you will continue to lead them until they no longer seek your guidance, someone else takes over and develops them, or both.
How will you handle the challenge? Feel free to respond, I would love to hear what you have to say.
As we wrap up 2016, I recommend developing a reading list to really set the tone for 2017. Amongst those books on your list, I suggest adding these great leadership reads to your list. This is not an all-inclusive list, and they are in no particular order. Take a few minutes, review this list, and find the ones that interest you. Feel free to share your favorite leadership, management, or business related book with us here. Have a great New Year!
Jared W. Snow
The Leadership Challenge
If you are confused about what people want from a leader than look no further. The Leadership Challenge is a well written and researched book will help leaders understand that members of a team want the same basis qualities in all leaders.
Principle Centered Leadership
The title says it all. Principle Centered Leadership makes a compelling case establishing character and principles as foundational to the leadership enterprise.
Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman takes the concept of Emotional Quotient (EQ) and applies it to the leadership process. A must for anyone who wants to understand how emotions impact our ability to think as well as lead.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell clearly illustrates the value as well as the pitfalls of going with our gut instincts. He also demonstrates why more systematic and rational approaches do not always lead to correct response either. Gladwell's treatise will help you strike the right balance in your life and work.
The Wisdom of Teams
The Wisdom of Teams by Katzenbach and Smith is the best book in the field on the subject. Leadership is about building high performance teams and these two authors provide valuable insight into making teams happen.
What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
Marshall Goldsmith discusses traits and habits that may have worked to get you to where you are now, but will not work to get you further in life, at your job, with your friends or family. A great read to help you take the next step in life, successfully.
The Peter Principle
How is it that the under-achiever gets promoted or the less-than-competent coworkers get transferred to a less demanding position? The Peter Principle is an easy read and discusses these phenomena and more, that many of us have experienced at some point in our careers.
So, what do you do when you feel like a hypocrite, when your professional life and your personal life seem to contradict each other. You may have heard someone say that a house cleaners house is never as clean as the one they worked on that day or the general contractor’s house is in more need of work than you once thought possible. Shoot, I have had marriage counselors that have been divorced – doesn’t that just seem odd?
I am not referring to the complete double-sided life of proselytizing a drug-free life during the day and abusing drugs at night. I am referring to the issue of being good at leading others at work for example, but struggling to do the same at home.
Well, there are a number of reasons why this could be true. They are burnt out from their day doing their profession and just don’t have it in them to do it anymore (whatever it is). Perhaps they do what they do because they have learned so much from their own life that they want to help others (in the case of the divorced marriage counselor), makes sense right?
(But, shouldn’t our professional and personal life be the same, at least similar, in how we handle them?)
We all learn from the example set before us. We are more likely to follow what we see, rather than choose not to follow what we see unless it completely contradicts our personal and professional beliefs, morals, or ethics. So how do we follow the example of someone giving advice, for example, when they don’t even practice what they preach, so to speak?
The truth is, they (we, you, me) may be sharing advice based on their (yours, my) own experiences of making the wrong decisions. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from someone else’s, right? If you feel like a hypocrite for mishandling one aspect of your life, while doing another very well, chances are you need to reprioritize your life and make sure you are applying an appropriate balance of your time, energy, finances, etc. in all that you do.
To be honest, I have been feeling more and more like a hypocrite lately. Struggling at home while talking and writing about leading others. I know I am not the only one. But, it is time for a change for me. Is it a time for a change for you? What will you do? Please share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s grow together.
Jared W. Snow
You have just determined that you would like a mentor. How do you make the most out of your new or potential mentor/mentee relationship? Well, why is it that you want a mentor? Some of your responses should be:
As the mentee, you should be the one to seek a mentor. Now, if you are a part of a great organization or have great leadership (or both), then chances are someone may approach you and either recommend you find a mentor and offer to mentor you. Some may even mentor you without making it “official”.
If nobody approaches you, then you find them. As mentioned a few weeks ago, find someone who:
You may even find a couple of mentors based on your roles in life. Perhaps a professional mentor or coach at work, a non-profit board member, perhaps a church leader. Many people have multiple roles in life and each role may have a mentor specific to that function. Some may need a coach more than a mentor in some areas (I will touch on coaching next week).
You now have an idea of why you need a mentor and what you are looking for in a mentor. So, what is your part in all of this? Take a quick look at last week’s post about being a mentor. Towards the end I listed 7 things to consider when mentoring (these are by no means the only things to consider). As the mentee, you will do something along the same lines. So, consider these when being mentored:
If you noticed, number 7 is the same from the mentor list. You will both learn and make mistakes as you go through this process and develop your relationship. It is a journey, not checklist. Enjoy your relationship as you both learn from each other and you gain new insights and wisdom from your mentor.
Jared W. Snow