features of a wise leader

I was recently going through my email and found this from a close Scottish colleague.


  1. Holds unshakeable values which define their being;
  1. Translates their ‘way of thinking’ into the ‘way they do things’;
  1. Has moved beyond acquiring knowledge to ‘letting go’ of knowledge;
  1. Combines a vision of the future with a knowledge of the past;
  1. Understands and values their own human frailties;
  1. Sees the world with a ‘profound simplicity’;
  1. Travels without the burden of having to prove their wisdom;
  1. Balances issues towards the ‘common good’;
  1. Sees layers of connections when others see discrete issues;
  2. Engages their mind in union with their humanity.

This got me to reflecting on my own leadership past and future. For me its the connections between unshakeable values, valuing ones frailties and engaging mind with humanity that are most tested in times of great challenge.

I recall a meeting I had where I felt I had to challenge staff about believing our youth (in this case it was one class of youth). Some spoke about feeling afraid in the yard with them which was the antithesis of my experiences with these young people. I believe, in reflection, some of the staff were really afraid of what these young people might say about how they were felt they were being perceived, treated or mistreated, believed or not believed or ignored or listened to by some adults (teachers) in the organisation.

Some of these challenges were ultimately I believe exposing my leadership underbelly, so to speak, for I, the youth and the organisation needed staff belief in the hope our youth show and their active loyalty which for some proved too much.

With wisdom perhaps comes risk and a preparedness to experience hurt which is to be human.

I wonder how other people reflect on this list and their experiences?

This entry was posted in Leadership, reflections, school. Bookmark the permalink.

Interested in your thoughts