Friday, September 10, 2010

Leadership and Wisdom – Overlooked or Undervalued?

In my time, I have read countless articles and books concerning not just educational leadership, but leadership in general.  One trait of positive and effective leadership that I have rarely seen discussed is wisdom.

Many of us may associate wisdom with King Solomon.  One of the more famous tales of Solomon’s wisdom was when asked to settle a disagreement between two women who both claimed to be the mother of a child.  Solomon’s solution was to cut the baby in half.  When one of the two women protested and asked Solomon to save the child and give it to the other woman, Solomon knew that only the true mother would make such a sacrifice and awarded the baby to her.

Was Solomon wise or bluffing?  His willingness to kill was also recorded, so he very well may have followed through on his solution.  I guess the baby was also fortunate that one of the two women was actually the mother.  If we assume Solomon’s wisdom, then we must also assume he knew the answer before making his famous suggestion.

As educational leaders, is there a greater place for wisdom in our decision making process than we (or anyone else) give credit?  Do you have any examples of wisdom from your own school or from one you may have previously worked?  Is there a lesser or greater place for wisdom in leadership given the factors many of us face each day in schools?

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