I am much less directive. I used to think I had to make things happen, but I don’t believe this anymore. In order for things to happen, there needs to be collaboration. There needs to be willingness on the part of others to see the benefit of helping. Praising people for jobs well done is very important, too.
Greater patience and accountability. Now calmer, more centered, and less driven, most senior sages say their patience has grown and they have greater sensitivity to their own accountability:
I am more patient, and I believe I have become more accountable. I think I’ve always been a pretty good communicator, but perhaps not always as accountable as I now am. I’m also better at staying on focus.
Three things: I think I have become more patient. I have developed a sense of humility and learned not to expect change right away. And I have become able to surrender, even when I want my own way.
Being more direct and more patient seems to work in bringing people along. I hope it’s not bullying, but when people see the facts they often fold their cards pretty quickly. Nonprofits, especially, can get glacial about decision-making. I see that malaise in a lot of them.
Leadership without title. Senior sages report becoming freed-up when they came to realize that the effectiveness of leadership has more to do with the ability to influence others than to call on the authority of a formal position and title:
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I always thought you had to have a title when I was younger, and you had to be the best at something in order to be a leader. But no longer. This is where I’ve chosen to be, even though I know the hierarchical world still exists out there.