Now in the latter stages of their lives, senior leaders have reduced their fear of change. They had already experienced failure in their lives and learned they could survive it. So rather than retreating from the world—a sign of psychological stagnation—they choose to remain active in it and experiment with different ways of being. Says one, “If I don’t try something new in my life now, when will I take the risk?” It takes inner strength and self-confidence to turn away from fear about change and step into the abyss at this time in life, which makes these senior sages truly exceptional men and women. In short, it is their capacity and willingness to be reflective about their assumptions and past strategies—and their eagerness to try something new—that is at the heart of what it means to be a senior sage leader.
A key term frequently heard from senior sages is “patience.” In thinking back on what they have gained from personal changes, these experienced men and women talk about relaxing some of their expectations. They still want great things to happen and are just as committed to important causes as they were before. But now they are ready to be steadfast—and patient. Much like Jim Collins’ Type 5 leaders, these senior sages are stubborn and persistent, but they are also willing to let time pass and make certain that everyone is “on board” before taking the first big step on anything. As one says,” I have stopped telling people what to do and have starting listening to what they need me to do.” The art and skill of listening to other people perhaps has been the hardest change for many senior sage leaders to achieve.Download Article 1K Club