Why Leaders Should Seek Wisdom?

[May 29, 2018]  Last year I changed the direction of my blog to focus more on all around leadership rather just singling out senior leaders.  What I did not do was fail to seek wisdom in how leaders become who they are, how they are educated in the fine art of leading others; nor did I give up my pursuit of the philosophy of leadership.

Leaders do seek wisdom in what they do; not so much as a practical matter to improve the effectiveness but to reinforce good character formation in themselves.  As readers here at theLeaderMaker.com know, I’m neither a philosopher nor am I a psychologist.  What I do is take the lessons leaders have given me and formed them into a list of short articles that reinforce these hard-won lessons.

The tradition of seeking wisdom goes back much further than the Western philosophers Socrates or Plato; or even before the Chinese General and philosopher Sun Tzu.  My point is not that these philosophers (or whatever they called themselves) were smarter, more wise, or better logical thinkers; it was the pursuit itself that was important and the goal of finding wisdom is their end goal.

They knew, like the greatest leaders throughout history, that only by the interest in and pursuit of wisdom do we approach some semblance of comfort in our abilities to lead people under the most ordinary or most difficult circumstances.  This particular way of viewing leadership – as the pursuit of wisdom – is a model as old as the ages themselves.

Newer, more modern pursuits reject wisdom as a function of “old dead white men” and instead find their expression in diversity and politically correct thought.  Fairness is the byword of this model of leadership.  It is far from clear that this newer way of thinking is a superior model and many, like myself, believe that it will fail dramatically upon the altar of its own complexity.

Effective and moral leadership stands for freedom of thought and the search for good judgment as the foundation of wisdom.  That is why I continue this leadership blog and why some will gain from it in their own hunt for wisdom.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

31 thoughts on “Why Leaders Should Seek Wisdom?

  1. Shawn C. Stolarz

    More good ideas for me to think about. I must admit that I never thought that leaders were seekers of wisdom; but of practical skills over ideas.

  2. Georgie M.

    One of my favorite quotes is by Elizabeth Kenny, Australian nurse from the early part of the 20th century. She said, “It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.” Wisdom to take action.

    1. Eric Coda

      Wisdom is everywhere. I’m glad you picked up on E. Kenny from Australia. We see wisdom but only but grasping it can we gain from it.

  3. José Luis Rodriguez

    Good article and worthwhile to read for a junior leader like me. I always enjoy my daily dose from this leadership blog. Thanks Gen Satterfield.

  4. Gil Johnson

    Wisdom about seeking wisdom. Well written.

  5. Darryl Sitterly

    At first, I didn’t know how to take your daily dose of leadership advice. But after reading it twice, I think I see that you are trying to tell us that there is more to being a leader than social skills and good character. The fact that only the best leaders seek wisdom is a step that we should all take, regardless of the level of leader.

    1. Tracey Brockman

      Thumbs up on your comment. Mr. Rohn is great. A motivational speaker and thinker.

    2. Doug Smith

      I heard him speak several years ago (can’t remember exactly how long ago) but he was at his peak and could draw us into his orbit of leadership without much effort. Good man. I wish I could develop that level of skills.

  6. Wilson Cox

    Another good article. Thank you Gen Satterfield for pushing me into thinking more about leadership than I would have. Otherwise, I’d probably just funk out today.

  7. Billy Kenningston

    “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Quote by Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. There are those who are smarter than us and we can learn from them. Surprise!

  8. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    Not everyone has the capability or motivation to seek out wisdom. That is why we have leaders who are willing to mentor, teach and coach. I find this blog and there are others that help in the matter. Gen Satterfield’s column fills a nitch that enables me to pick up quickly a small piece of wisdom each day.

  9. Yusaf from Texas

    My morning reading is always interesting and I also find the comments section both entertaining and educational. Thanks everyone.

  10. Anita

    Another good morning coffee leadership post. Thanks for getting my intellectual juices flowing.

  11. Greg Heyman

    Very good comment, Kenny. I agree that we need to help out the leaders who show the most promise. The trick is to deal with poor leaders properly.

  12. Kenny Foster

    Very philosophical today Brig Gen Satterfield. I might suggest additional reading in Locke and others who will add to your argument. I also suggest the re-reading of philosophers of old. It is surprising to most that we can actually learn a great deal from them. Junior leaders, specifically, need to take the time to talk with smart and experienced leaders to help them overcome some of the intellectual bumps in the road.

  13. Lynn Pitts

    Too many “leaders” that I’ve known in my lifetime failed to do just that. They were too intellectually lazy to go out and find wisdom in what they did. I find that the US military encourages this among its leaders and mentors them to do just that. Thanks for another great post Gen Satterfield.

  14. Army Captain

    An overlooked part of developing one’s skills as a good leader means seeking the truth. It also means seeking justice and fairness. This is why leaders must seek wisdom so that they may be capable of judging what is wisdom and what is folly.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Thanks for putting a stop to the military stereotypes I see the ignorant use in their daily lives. Much appreciated. And also thanks for your service to the nation. On that same note, yesterday’s post by Gen Satterfield about Memorial Day deserves reading for those who may have missed it.

    2. Army Captain

      My favorite military quote, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Wisdom for military leadres.

  15. Bryan Lee

    The stereotype military man of old is one who is not creative, not smart enough, and too rigid for his own good. But in reality, the best military leaders are in fact those that seek wisdom much more than the average man on the street.

  16. Max Foster

    Good article today on a very relevant topic for great leaders and those aspiring to be better than they are now. Also note that I like your “daily favorites.”

    1. Watson Bell

      Yes, I must agree with you. Most folks overlook this aspect of skilled leadership.

    2. Jonathan B.

      Yes, there is wisdom in this blog!

    3. Roger Yellowmule

      Yes Max, we have regular and good things to think about here!!

    4. Jung Hoon Kim

      Very good. Thank you for bringing this up to compliment General Satterfield.

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