Ken Haigh leadership, productivity, and technology | about

The Leadership Equation: Counsel

We have reached our final leadership characteristic. Good leaders not only give good advice and counsel to others, but listen to counsel as well.

    \[ l_i = \left ( i_1 + t + f + h + \frac{s_1}{s_2} + c_1 + j\right )\left ( w_1 + u + l + \frac{s_3}{a} + e \right )\left ( w_2 + \frac{m_1}{m_2} + c_2  \right ) \]

where l_i = leadership/influence and c_2 = counsel

Vision is rarely developed in a vacuum. As Proverbs 15:22 states,

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

The Lone Leader?

Most narratives of successful leaders give the impression that one person’s idea led and inspired a group of people to achieve extraordinary goals. Based on my experience, I am skeptical of such narratives and recognize that in every story a footnote exists of advisers that help influence and shape a leader’s direction.

As leaders, we are all capable of making errors in discerning the correct path. To depend on one’s own judgment is foolishness. Good leaders surround themselves with wise counselors. After all, how can one lead when there is no one else around to participate in the journey?

Not All Counsel is Good Counsel

Unfortunately, not all counsel is equal. Many times I have received conflicting and wrong advice on a matter. In some cases, my advisor did not have all the facts to properly assess a situation (my fault.) In other instances, my advisor was motivated by self-interest and gain.

It is important to remember to seek out counsel from those who are in the best position to help. You would not ask your car mechanic to provide health advice when you are sick. Seek advice from those with expertise, experience, and good character.

Measure Against Truth

How can you recognize good counsel? Always measure the counsel you receive against truth. Good counsel should never conflict with known truth and facts. In addition, seek out and validate counsel with other counsel.

Summary

We have finished discussing the characteristics that help a leader cast vision: Worthiness, motivation, and counsel. In all, we have looked at a total of 15 characteristics that help a leader maximize their influence of others through trust, competence, and vision. If you are like me, you fall short in a number of areas. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t effectively lead. In the next post of this series, we will conclude with how to know if you a leader or a pretender.

Your thoughts next: Now that my list is complete, what characteristics would you add to the list?

In Leadership (counsel, Leadership, vision)
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