On Leadership: Counsel Mitigates Weakness



Counsel mitigates the weakness of the individual.

~ Steven Lee Elder

For leaders, especially the CEO, there is a temptation to think or believe that just because you are the top executive then that means you know it all. Your wisdom is greater than all others.  This is very dangerous, especially in business.  When the CEO or the top leader of a team consistently thinks they have all the answers this is usually an early indication that performance will be less than expected.  Results will likely not be achieved.

Why can I be so bold to say that?  It is by experience that it is the nature of almost all leaders that as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will attempt to control those around them and assume superiority in their abilities.  When they do this they act with limited understanding and increase the risk of failure in decision making, not to mention the negative impact on the team dynamic.  

Sadly, I must admit this has happened to me in my career with with painful consequences and less than desirable results.  I have seen it repeated with others numerous times and I encourage those I coach to avoid this common tendency.

How do you avoid this?  A key solution is to seek counsel on any major issue or decision you are facing.  When I refer to weakness above in the quote, I’m really talking about weak “understanding.”  All of us have different experiences that have shaped our perspective. When a leader taps into others’ wisdom, it increases their understanding and perspective.  Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom.  As a leader, you want to seek as much wisdom as possible to gain the best possible understanding to ensure you make the best possible decisions.

This may seem easy, seeking counsel from others, but surprisingly it’s not.  Why?  Because it requires humility.  It requires vulnerability.  You must be willing to acknowledge you don’t know it all and need help.  In my experience, when a leader demonstrates this humility and vulnerability, they actually garner greater respect and trust from those they lead and a deeper commitment to the course of action decided as all feel heard and valued.

Be humble and vulnerable by seeking wisdom from others.  You will be a more effective and successful leader with a higher probability of achieving superior results.

Choose to seek counsel.



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