Coaching for wisdom: Enabling Wise Decisions
THE PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE OF COACHING: INSIGHTS AND ISSUES FOR A NEW ERA, pp. 161-175, David B. Drake, Dianne Brennan and Kim Gørtz, eds., Jossey-Bass, 2008
16 Pages Posted: 30 May 2010
Date Written: January 25, 2008
What the world needs now . . . is wise leadership! Now, more than ever, our collective fate rests in the hands of leaders who decide and act either wisely or foolishly. Masterful coaching has the potential to both enable and ennoble leaders for our sustainable common good. Wisdom, according to the late American historian Barbara Tuchman (1984), is ‘the exercise of judgment acting on experience, common sense and available information’. Anything less is ‘folly.’ And folly in leadership is as pervasive now as it ever was. ‘Know my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed,’ advised Count Axel Oxenstierna, Chancellor of Sweden, 1632-1644, during the Thirty Years’ War (Tuchman, 1984). There is no doubt we want our leaders to have more rather than less wisdom when it comes to making difficult decisions affecting our lives. But how do we know who is wise and what a wise decision is? In the rapidly changing environment of both commercial and government enterprises what seems a wise thing to do today can easily be deemed folly over time, and often within a very short time.
Keywords: leadership, wisdom, coaching, psychology
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