By Michael Holland     

Your time in the role of leader has little impact on your effectiveness.  Evaluated experience on the other hand has tremendous impact on your effectiveness.  We tend to equate time with wisdom.  We see a Senior Vice President and immediately assume that his 20 years in leadership positions have allowed him to become a wise leader. Possibly, but more likely he is just getting by in his role as a leader and always has.  He’s supervising his direct reports much as he did in his first management role.  The behaviors and habits he picked up in those 1st couple of years are still with him.

A wise leader is more rare.  A wise leader actually has invested a great amount of time on the job to evaluate experiences.

A wise leader says “what can I do differently in that type of situation” versus simply saying a non-committal “what was I thinking”.  The difference is a focus on ownership of action.  Evaluating your behavior is not merely replaying the event or interaction or decision process but framing the replay in an evaluative mindset seeking alternative behaviors.

So, are you more of a Snapchat type of leader or a Facebook #tbt (throw back Thursday) type of leader?

  • Snapchat Leaders – A Snapchat type of leader takes a quick picture of their leadership impact which fades away after an initial review never to be seen or thought of again.
  • Facebook #tbt Leader – A Facebook #tbt type of leader captures leadership moments in pictures, a written summary and comments from those impacted to provide a treasure trove of evidence to sift through upon review.

The re-evaluation process wise leaders undertake includes both positive and negative situations.  These wise leaders know that all events can yield tremendous learning opportunities.  The key is being willing to invest the time and energy to fully capture the moment and replay it for reflection, deep evaluation, and self-discovery.

Coaching Thoughts – For Your and Your Peers

  • Do you agree that there’s a difference between the questions “what can I do differently in that type of situation” versus “what was I thinking”?
  • Think about a positive leadership moment you’ve had in the past week.  Did you file that moment away as a Snapchat or more of a Facebook #tbt?
  • Have you encountered a wise leader in your career?  How did they impact your world?