There is a pressing need for intelligent leaders who are able to deal effectively with today’s challenges and demands – and those of the future. But intelligence alone is not sufficient. It is simply a “blunt” tool that enables leaders to get things done. Too often leaders are intelligence giants but maturity dwarfs. This has far reaching, detrimental consequences.
Leadership maturity is a leader’s ability to engage consistently with him or herself, others and the world by being:
- Relevant – maturity is time, place and person dependent. It demands the ability to render wise judgments about what is appropriate in different settings.
- Productive – constructive contributions are made, and something meaningful and value adding emerges.
- Uplifting – interactions are positive, fulfilling and enriching.
Acquiring leadership maturity is a life-long journey that comprises successive stages. At each stage, leaders will develop a corresponding identity. Depending on how they process life events and experiences, they may spiral upwards to greater maturity or downwards to lesser maturity. Or, they may get stuck for the rest of their life at one level.
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