3 Essential Pieces Of Practical Wisdom Every Leader Needs To Know

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What are the essential pieces of practical wisdom for leaders? Well, everyone is potentially a leader. Don’t count yourself out if you haven’t claimed this title.

And it doesn’t matter if you don’t work in a corporate environment where the notion of leadership thrives.

If you’re exploring mindfulness, meditation, contemplation, or how to live in the "here and now," you are also a leader. You're the scout, riding out before all the others into unknown territory to see what lies ahead.

The breadth and scope of leadership wisdom must expand to encompass the changes that have come with time. Today, a broader perspective is required.

A view that embraces the paradoxical challenges of our time and the unresolvable dilemmas they create.

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Today’s practical wisdom for leaders must be broader and more inclusive.

What was defined for you in the past is no longer enough. If you're a conscious leader — and a student of conscious living is naturally a leader — you will want to belly up to the bar and drink of this sweet nectar of clarity and direction.

You don’t need to throw out the pearls of wisdom from the past. But, you do need to build upon them. A requirement? Expanded awareness.

You need strategies that may seem unconventional. And at first, they may seem a bit "woo woo" for your taste.

But, like cream rising to the top of milk, wisdom only arises in the presence of depth. That’s what frees it to offer up its rich perspectives.

Is wisdom different from being intelligent and smart?

In March 2013, Training Journal featured an article by Mike Clayton. This article denoted the difference between a smart leader and a wise one.

"…Smart leaders know how things work and how to get things done with the resources at their disposal… [Wise leaders] requires the experience to understand the real world in all of its breadth and complexities — rather than the narrower context in which you grew smart…."

Being unafraid to face the complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty of our real world is the earmark of today’s leader.

That means understanding how to live with paradox and understanding its role in everyday life, why it’s there, how it works, and what materials it uses to fulfill its role.

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Here are the 3 essential pieces of practical wisdom for leaders.

1. Embrace the pervasiveness of dilemmas.

In May 2011, Harvard Business Review published the article, "The Big Idea – The Wise Leader," listing six abilities required.

The authors, Nonaka and Takeuchi, stated their goal was "…to identify how leaders can systematically make decisions that will allow companies to live in harmony with society rather than clash with it."

One of the six abilities was to "…grasp the essence of things and intuitively fathom the nature and meaning of people, things, and events."

To be in harmony with society means understanding how society, and the individuals within it, function.

And where is the richest fodder for this wisdom? In discovering the most fundamental nature of what makes your world go around, and then around again.

And that is the pervasive presence of dilemmas, which is backed by the neurological wiring that causes the stultifying commitment to either/or decision-making.

2. Realizing the everyday impact of duality.

Duality is an annoying aspect of our reality. It requires all things to be based on the presence of a tension held in place by polar pairs.

You can deny this, rail against it to your heart’s content, call it stupid or ridiculous, or just a crazy new age belief. But, none of that changes its presence, nor does it change its reach or its impact on your daily life.

Giving this notion lip service, or even just recognizing it as a concept offering a bit of truth, is not enough.

Recognition is the first step. But honest realization means an act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact. This happens when the clarity and solutions being sought arise from another domain or dimension.

3. Learning how to manage paradox.

How do you most efficiently deal with the emotional turmoil dilemmas and duality create in daily life? How do you get the brain to cooperate with your desire?

You learn to recognize and manage the paradoxes of our time. It’s the paradoxes that reflect the duality, generate the dilemmas, and instigate the emotional turmoil they create.

It’s time to learn how to mine the presence of these realities for new guidance, broader clarity, and an overall deeper understanding of what is going on. And how to re-wire the brain to support your new depth of wisdom.

In May 2016, Forbes published the article "5 Ways Great Leaders Cultivate Wisdom In The Workplace." The contributor, Glenn Llopis, listed number one as being able to see strength in being vulnerable.

Facing the vulnerability that these three aspects of daily life present will earmark those willing to walk the razor’s edge of today’s requirements for conscious living and leadership.

Practical wisdom for leaders is not for the faint of heart.

Yet, it’s really quite simple.

It’s not easy, but it does offer some freedom. When paradoxes are invited to sit at every conference table where decisions are being made, problem-solving (and just being happy) becomes very different.

This is what happens when the reality, nature, and role of opposites, and duality are allowed to join in.

There have been smatterings of this depth of practical wisdom here and there for years. But, now, it’s time to define it even more precisely.

It will support your desire to recognize, neutralize, and redirect the highly charged energies of your own polarization. And that offers you the freedom to do the work that is yours to do.

In this way, you can remain the person you wish to be, without turning into the very person you find yourself against.

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Ragini Michaels is an author, hypnotherapist, mentor, coach, and International Trainer of Unconscious Communications and Modeling Skills, specializing in Behavioral Change. Enjoy her complimentary mini-course that will introduce you to the basics of Centered 24-7, your first step toward Paradox Management Certification.

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This article was originally published at Ragini Michaels' Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.