Enlightened Leadership – To Whom Are You Listening To?
By Jason Wilton
If you want to be the best leader possible, you should be listening to the right people. There are countless sources of leadership tips, hints and recommendations. They’re coming at you from all directions. Those who are committed to learning the skills that lead to enlightened leadership need to know to whom they should be paying attention.
That’s a challenging issue, too. Consider the numerous possibilities. You have a cadre of academics who spend day and night researching the theory of leadership and its ramifications. They churn out an endless series of journal articles and persuasively back their conclusions. However, they’re not in the trenches and you can rightfully wonder if theory is a real key to enlightened leadership.
There are those who are working the lecture circuit, sharing their own stories and perspectives on leadership. They are former champion coaches, corporate executives and others who have “been there and done that.” They definitely have practical experience. However, it makes sense to question if their stories and experiences are really transferable to your situation.
There’s another source of information about enlightened leadership that should be on your radar. This particular group may be the best way to gain insights about what leadership really means and how to develop your skills successfully.
These aren’t people who’ve led armies. They haven’t sat on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. They haven’t written bestsellers and most of them probably haven’t read a single article about leadership. Nonetheless, you’ll make a huge mistake if you fail to listen to what they have to say.
We’re talking about actual employees. People who deal with superiors and leaders on an every day basis. They have a sense of what works and they have a unique ability to see through weak attempts to garner their respect based on flawed strategies, too.
So, what do these people have to say about enlightened leadership? Interestingly, it often boils down to a few things, in their estimation. Honesty is essential. A willingness to recognize and appreciate others is a big part of the story, too. Being accessible and communicative is also a major element of quality leadership.
It’s great to listen to the voice of experience. You can learn a great deal from the ivory tower gang, too. However, you can’t ignore the voices of those in the trenches. They have some great advice. If you want to become the best leader you can be, take the time to consider what real people are saying.
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