A new ‘age’ for managers and leaders?

Dr Barrie Kennard, Consultant at Call of the Wild explains how the ‘wisdom age’ is of importance to those who manage and lead.

For many years the knowledge age made know how a central currency for leaders and managers. It became a by word for capability and was a trait that was actively sought out and identified when recruiting in the workplace.

With the coming of the information age, know what started to grow in importance, and for leaders and managers to be successful they needed to combine knowing how with knowing what. This ability to combine practical considerations with the technicalities of achieving outcomes was regarded as vitally important in the drive for organisational success.

I think we have now entered a new age – the wisdom age – where know why is of pivotal importance to those who manage and lead. Knowing how to make a decision, combined with knowing what to do to make the decision viable is now being combined with knowing why the decision is correct.

For effective and competent management and leadership, all three elements must be in place. In this Wisdom Age, managers and leaders will draw upon their personal experiences when making decisions. These experiences, whether positive and negative, are where we gain wisdom and it’s these wise decisions that will set apart the more agile leaders and managers from their contemporaries.

It could be argued this has always been the case but if we look at management and leadership practice, decisions made using gut instinct were routinely discarded in favour of what was seen as a more scientific, evidence-based approach.

Labels such as ‘alarm bells ringing’, ’something in the back of my mind’, or simply ‘it just doesn’t feel right’ have been around for a long time and some organisations even made a point of gauging these reactions before finalising major decisions.

Another crucial factor to note is that this wisdom has nothing to do with age – it’s about the experiences an individual has lived through and how those experiences have given them that wisdom, no matter how old they are.

Dr Barrie Kennard and Dave Thomas will be speaking about wisdom based leadership at our Leadership Conference on 19th June.

To book on, click here.