By now you should know how to manage well, given that around US$140 billion is spent each year on management education. But how do you manage wisely, and what does that even mean?
To manage wisely is to know what is the right thing to do at the right time for the greatest common good (and we could sure use more of that!).
Here are 6 steps to help you manage wisely:
1. Ask a Wise Mentor
When you don’t know what to do, go to someone you regard as wise in your industry or profession – a wise mentor – and ask them what choice they would make.
2. Practice Emotional Regulation
Gaining control over the intensity and volatility of your own emotions is a key to wellbeing, and ultimately wisdom. Don’t let your emotional hot buttons get pushed by anyone. Practice stable emotions under all circumstances, and cultivate positive emotions over negative ones.
3. Practice Compassion
Compassion is the conscious awareness of others’ distress and the motivation to do something for them. There are other things you can do for others rather than for yourself such as empathy, altruism, generosity, kindness. Practicing these ‘prosocial behaviours’ helps you become a better and a wiser leader.
4. Practice Insight
The greatest capability of a leader is self-reflection – the ability to analyse an understand yourself. It’s naturally much easier to understand somebody else. But learning to manage wisely requires seeing your own strengths and weaknesses, and striving to gain insight.
5. Accept Uncertainty
Just because you hold strong feelings about something doesn’t mean it’s the right decision. Acceptance of uncertainty means not being 100% certain of anything working out the way you want it to, and being prepared to change your mind if new information comes along. It also means understanding why someone else might have different feelings about a particular decision. It doesn’t mean giving up on your values, but you can also understand why someone else may hold different thoughts and feelings.
6. Make Decisions
In the end you have to make a decision. You can’t sit on the fence. It’s important to deliberate over a decision but not be paralysed by uncertainty. Managing wisely is more than just thinking through the pros and cons. You also have to be decisive. You may be criticized for your decision with hindsight, but there are times when you must act.
And these are the six steps to managing wisely. How many of these steps are you practicing today?