The above two observations seem to capture all three of the alternative definitions of generativity we identified in previous essays. These Sage leaders certainly admire the analytic and relational skills that are needed to generate creativity and innovation–skills we identified in the last chapter (Liedrka’s generativity cycle). They also seem to have captured the essence of entrepreneurship–especially as entrepreneurial energy and dedication are directed by a compelling vision.
Some of our other Emerging and Senior Sage leaders have provided even more detailed perspectives on these alternative modes of generativitEssay Fourteen. Generativity Two.Legacy and Leadershipy. We turn first to analytic skills.
One of our Sage leaders focuses in particular on leaders who offer an open-minded and visionary perspective when analyzing the situation in which they find themselves as leaders:
I admire humility in effective leaders. Everyone must be treated as having equal importance. I also admire open-mindedness in leaders. To be effective, the leader must be able to see things from a different perspective—call it a vision—to keep followers from spinning their wheels. They are able to say, “Have you thought about this direction? Let’s stand back and have a look at it.” I do think there are times when I see things that other people aren’t seeing and that I can bring a different perspective to a situation.
For this Sage leader it is not just a matter of leaders being bright and filled with insights; they must also possess the relational skills that can lead other people to insightful conclusions.
Another Sage leader reflects on her own leadership competencies and turns specifically to the formulation of analytically-sound questions:
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Regarding my own leadership qualities, a number come to mind: asking big questions, listening carefully to others, trying to glean the truth from a situation, and if truth is elusive to ask more questions. Once again, it is the quality of verifying the thinking of others. Even though I had been in leadership roles all of my life, I had not thought of myself as a leader until I began to observe other leaders very carefully and discover that I am much like them. This took a long time. A lot of this came from my dad, who was a highly successful business leader. I watched him as an executive and saw he was a good role model.