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Two Wise Leaders

February 8, 2012

How did you cultivate your wisdom today? One of my long term clients, Mark Finser, as President & CEO, grew the RSF Social Finance assets to over $120M by 2007 with a focus on putting money to work for a sustainable future. Each decision, whether it was operational or programmatic, staff or board related, was informed by his daily meditation practice and the wise counsel of mentors. Mark used a multi-faceted knowledge to inform his decisions and it showed in the depth of his relationships and the scope of his results.

Wisdom is a multi-faceted knowledge, blending life and work experience with mental clarity, emotional sensing, and intuitive insight. The leaders I’ve been privileged to work with, those who make the biggest difference in their industry or cause, access this blend of knowledge to make smart, sensible, and astute small and large decisions that benefit the immediate and larger world.

Bob, Chief Legal Counsel for a large Federal agency woke at 4am to meditate every day. You knew something was different when you were around him. The first time I heard him speak I was standing at the front of the conference  room leading the senior management team through their first exercise of a three day retreat. Each man in the circle introduced himself. Midwy through the circle of introductions, my attention was drawn away by a secretary entering the room with more coffee. As Bob began to speak, the resonance in his voice riveted my attention. The calm centered timber in his voice relaxed everyone in the room while simultaneously waking them up. He spoke without nervousness or push, without hesitation or trying. His inner depths infused his being and radiated into his natural expression. The results were obvious. Throughout the retreat Bob added perspective to limited thinking, came up with the suggestions that blended differing priorities and found new avenues through complex thorny issues. It was a privilege to work with him over several years and help develop strategies for bringing wise leadership to the fore throughout the agency and the law firm he later joined.

What do you do to fill out the dimensionality of your knowledge? How do you cultivate your wisdom? What works?


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