What makes a “wise leader”?

Many business decisions end in tears, some more spectacularly than others! In today’s world, business leaders are under pressure to act quickly and make the “right” call. So what would make wiser leadership?

Wise leaders show an increased capacity to “subvert the ego” in decision-making and take multiple perspectives when considering issues (Loevinger & Wessler, 1970). They are able to use unbiased social judgement, be aware of varied contexts and appreciate and see reconciliation of differing viewpoints (Grossman et al., 2016).

As a result, these leaders:

  • Make decisions that incorporate a number of perspectives (e.g. generational, gender, economic, social) (Kegan, 1995, Chapter 6; McAuliffe, 2006; Solomon, Marshall, & Gardner, 2005)
  • Manage complexity more effectively (Beck & Cowan, 2014, Chapter 5)
  • Show up with greater self-awareness (Beck & Cowan, 2014, Chapter 6; Grant, 2007)
  • Generate more innovation (De Meyer, 2007)
  • Are Transformational (Rooke & Torbert, 2008)
  • Demonstrate higher empathy and a sense of universal care (Beck & Cowan, 2014, Chapter 5; Carlozzi, Gaa, & Liberman, 1983)

Source: Hudson, T. (2019). In Pursuit of Organisational Wisdom. Assessment and Development Matters Vol. 11 No. 3 Autumn 2019

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