As we start a new year, what goals should we set for self-improvement in 2015? I would like to encourage leaders to constantly seek wisdom! A few weeks ago I watched the movie (not the first time) First Knight with Sean Connery who played King Arthur. The scene I want to share is the meeting of the Knights of the Round Table. Before each meeting starts, King Arthur states: “May God grant us the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it and the strength to make it endure.”
As leaders we must constantly search to acquire wisdom. Wisdom can be gained by reading professional books or journals, through a mentor, networking with other leaders, experience, discussions with colleagues and numerous other ways. A person in a leadership position thinking they already have all the answers is simply a fool. If we seek wisdom on a daily basis, we should be able to recognize “the right” when it presents itself. Proverbs 3:21-23 states, “do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgement and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.” Proverbs 4:5-7 “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she (wisdom) will protect you; love her (wisdom), and she (wisdom) will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.”
How will leaders know what the “right” decision is at any given time and/or situation? In most cases, the right decision is obvious. However, some occasions require considerable thought and consultation from colleagues or from a mentor or other trusted people. When “the right” is not clear or obvious, a wise leader will seek wisdom to help make the right decision. Unwise leaders will bull their way through which could result in the wrong decision.
As leaders, we must have the strength and determination to stand behind difficult decisions no matter the consequences. Admiral David Farragut demonstrated bravery and determination when stating “damn the torpedos and full speed ahead” during a battle. The consequences of his decision could have ended in death. I admit we are not at war at the school house and the consequences are not quite the same. Our decisions do affect students for the rest of their lives which makes our decisions very important. The point is would you risk your job choosing the right decision knowing its not popular? If we constantly seek wisdom and seek counsel before making those tough decisions, we will make the right decision. Once the decision is made, trust yourself and stand by it no matter what it could cost.