Three Significant Components of Enlightened Leadership
By Jason Wilton
What traits do the very best leaders exhibit? When you know what great leaders do, it’s easier to develop your enlightened leadership skills. So, let’s examine some of what the best of the best do on a regular basis.
Great leaders look backwards and forward. You’ve probably heard many people say that enlightened leadership is forward-thinking. That’s definitely part of the story. The best leaders are always looking over the horizon, seeing what’s ahead and visualizing the best future course of action. That’s just half of the process, though. The great leaders also look back to history. They want to know how things got the way they are and what empirical evidence shows them about possible future courses of action. They look forward while learning from the past.
Enlightened leadership is an honest process. The best leaders don’t bother stretching the truth, shielding people from uncomfortable realities or otherwise engaging in dishonest behavior. They recognize the role trust plays in leadership and they treat it as something sacred. They know that being honest is the best way to gain respect and to persuade others to follow their lead. There’s no room for dishonesty in enlightened leadership.
Awesome leaders take time to listen. Communication is an essential aspect of quality leadership. That means that leaders must do a good job of conveying their ideas and messages. That’s not all of what goes into great communication, though. There’s a listening component at play, as well. The very best leaders make time to listen to others. They really pay attention to what’s said and they use that information and opinion as part of their decision making calculus. They’re not insulated and aloof. They’re accessible and they really do make a point of caring about the perspectives of others.
Those three characteristics are definitely among the most significant components of enlightened leadership. It would be a gross oversimplification to claim that anyone exhibiting those three traits was guaranteed to be a fabulous leader, but it isn’t an exaggeration to argue that all good leaders will make a point of looking back and into the future while being honest and accessible.
If you’re sincerely interested in becoming a truly wonderful leader, you’ll note those traits and do everything in your power to make them part of your approach. They’re not sufficient to elevate you to your full potential, but their undoubtedly necessary for anyone who wants to display enlightened leadership skills.
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