This is the final of a 3-part series on leadership.
The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely. ~ William Osler
Experience is a great teacher. Yet we couldn’t possibly experience all that we need to lead wisely. We stumble and we make mistakes, and we look with wise eyes at the mishaps.
How do we learn? To what do we reference our words and deeds? We look to other lives lived in effective leadership, and considering what went wrong, what could be improved and how. In this process, we do not so much follow but reflect and analyse.
To lead wisely, we do not look at mere strategies and techniques, following blindly. We find what works with heart, we approach with the spirit of integrity and authenticity.
With empathy, integrity and authenticity – this is how leaders relate.
Know your self. What do you stand for? What is your vision for your organization, your team, your group, yourself in relation to each and every member? How will you motivate, encourage or lift another?
Be an observer of yourself. Watch your words and actions, are they congruent? Do they reflect your values?
Be real. Are you consistent, in thought, word and deed? Do you walk the talk? Are you accountable? Do others trust you to hold firm to your beliefs? Are you worthy of trust?
Have courage. To be integritas (Latin origin, meaning “the whole”), often we have to be steadfast, to stand tall in the face of challenges and temptations to be otherwise.
Seek to understand. Listen with your heart. Open your mind and be curious. There is much to learn and we may not know what would come our way at any moment, or from whomever.
Be in communication. Be with the people whom you work with and rely upon to get the job done. We cannot lead in isolation. Do you have the skills to convey your message? Are you approachable and supportive?
Before we lead, we must first be in genuine relationship and to engage our colleagues’ minds and hearts. Before we do, we are.