You can’t lead when you know too much.
Education establishes barriers to thinking. Everything that comes your way is instantly judged by what you know. In some cases, the less you know, the more open you are.
People with knowledge say things like, “We can’t do that because. . .”
Another reason you can’t lead is too much experience.
You’ve been doing your job for years. You say things like, “We’ve always done it this way.” People with experience resist change.
Knowledge and experience hold leaders back when they result in closed minds.
New worlds antiquate old worlds. Turbulence, new regulations, cultural shifts, and technological advancements make old knowledge and past experience less relevant. During changing times, leaders must possess three qualities, in this order:
Character is acting in harmony with who we are and in alignment with noble virtues.
Curiosity is the ability to withhold judgment long enough to consider alternatives. Experience and education often block curiosity. In a changing world, the ability to ask questions is more powerful than making statements.
Courage is willingness to act boldly and decisively while taking responsibility.
The Fourth Quality
In a world full of “can’t do’s” successful leaders ask, “What can we do?” Bright futures are built with action, while bleak futures result from inaction.
This morning, I’m remembering all the “good” reasons I gave for doing nothing. At the time, it seemed wise and right. Looking back, it was foolish and pathetic. It took me years to learn that action, no matter how small, is better than inaction.
You may be courageous, but apart from action, you might as well be a coward.
I’ve identified four qualities all modern leaders must possess. Can you expand or modify the list?