Wow, another Monday morning as we move towards spring break. I am motivated to share with you the fourth take away from the Blanchard and Miller book, Great Leaders Grow. This week the focus is walk towards wisdom. Blanchard and Miller write , “Wisdom is the application of knowledge, discernment, insight, experience, and judgement to make good decisions when the answer may not be obvious.” This is such a powerful definition for school leaders as they navigate the possibilities of transforming education while preparing the learner for the 21st century. To make this transformation happen , it will take a leader with great wisdom. As the authors share, ” Wisdom is different than knowledge, its deeper. It is the ability to apply your knowledge at the appropriate time in the most productive way.”
As leaders begin to pursue wisdom , their focus needs to include four essential elements. This week ‘s blog will focus on the first two.
The first element is self evaluation. Leaders need to seek the truth, asking themselves, What’s working and what’s not? How to I minimize my weaknesses and maximize my strengths? How am I improving my organization? Am I working hard enough? What are my blind spots? This is not an easy process and yet it is an essential step in walking toward wisdom.
The second element is honest feedback. This element helps the leader learn from the past. This element helps overcome the natural bias that happens in the self evaluation. Honest feedback can be either informal or formal. The critical point is ask for it from colleagues throughout the organization. Encourage the truth and frankness. The authors simply suggest, “ask them what you should start doing, what you should keep doing, and what you should stop doing.”
Blanchard and Miler also share that if the leader wants growth producing , honest feedback that they need to react with a simple thank you or saying, is their anything else I should know? Self serving leaders get defensive and protective and ultimately kill honest communication. The authors conclude; Great leaders will actually encourage the other person sharing the feedback to go deeper with their thoughts, self-serving leaders don’t want to hear feedback at all.”
During the next week, I encourage all leaders to begin the challenging walk toward wisdom. It will not only help you grow as a leader , it will help your organization soar and improve in an environment of trust and high expectations for all. Be focused, intentional , and get to work and GROW. Next week I will share the final two elements of walking toward wisdom.
Quote of the week:
“The higher a leader goes in an organization, the harder it is to do an honest self-assessment.” Blanchard and Miller