Friday, January 30, 2015

How to Grow a Wise Leader via Learning Life Cycle

A wise leader does not just follow, but discover the path; not just learn, but challenge the convention.

“Knowledge is power.” "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know." "The less men think, the more they talk."....There are many good saying about thinking or learning or talking. From a leadership perspective, how shall one grow from “teachable” to “knowledgeable” to “insightful,” and ultimately become wise leaders?

A wise leader sometimes looks like a 'fool' with such "conscious ignorance": The ignorance has a great value only if it's a "conscious ignorance." Because the more you know and more experiences you have, it's amazing how much you already know about things you learn. Your mind simply recognizes a pattern, but do you really discover the truth? Sometimes ignorance is a necessary pre-condition for searching and seeking the truth. It is clear that ignorance is not an ideological purpose to be achieved. But, Without having a conscious ignorance you'll not find any motivation for seeking the truth and you will take decisions based on a partial and selective point of view without the elementary liberal criticism. In other words, to ignore the fact that any human knowledge is always partial and selective and to consider that knowledge as an absolute truth is a big mistake as Socrates mention and without any reason to have doubts, it is also a potential of great danger. In this sense, "conscious ignorance" deserves its glory.

A wise leader does not just follow but discover the path: All of the different approaches are out there to suit different minds to learn. Some people need a more analytical approach, some prefer a more people-centered approach, etc. many like simplicity, and feed all that information into an intuitive approach. Of course, we all have weaknesses, blind spots, and areas of personal ignorance. Wisdom is the application of knowledge suitable to the time and situation, to be wise you need all the knowledge you can get if there is enough, and then capture insight and foresight from it. As far as a learning experience, one gets more knowledge but this knowledge in principle can't be considered as absolute truth. Therefore, your learning brings you closer and closer to the truth in that sense, you know much more than before what is wrong. Knowledge is the human's only tool for reaching the truth. It is a limited tool since it might just get you closer to the truth but it never be able to finalize the way.

The basic principles of leadership, are simple. Figuring out all the ways to apply them in a multitude of situations with a variety of people, it takes a lifetime to master. Blanchard has talked about learning less more, meaning to learn fewer theories and lessons but learn them more deeply by trying something learning from your mistakes then applying those lessons next time. Put emphasis on the importance of getting feedback (a very critical one that is very candid and that helps you improve) to make practice perfect and eventually become a wise leader.


Being strong leader means thinking about the teams needs before your own, helping other people to grow and maximize their own full potential, and sharing credit when it’s due. Nice post!!! Leadership Training in India

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