There are certain types of leaders who has the ability to see what is possible for someone that he does not see for himself. Due to experience, wisdom, education, or insight, this enlightened leader can see mistakes, pitfalls, opportunities or ideas. What frustrates the enlightened leader is when the one that the leader is trying to help refuses to be helped. Here are some examples.
- The physician that prescribes a plan of action, such as quit smoking, eat less animal fat, exercise and then you won’t suffer the consequences–but the patient refuses to do the work because it’s too difficult.
- The executive who wants to promote a manager but can’t because the manager won’t take coaching to change her behavior and continues to make a case for being right.
- The coach who knows that if her client would only follow through would have a tremendous break-through, yet the client continues to find excuses.
- The teacher who tries every method available but the student isn’t interested enough to take initiative, and then has to navigate an unfair reward system.
- The parents who want the best for their child, but the child continues to make poor decisions, and then returns for more help from mom and dad.
- The financial adviser who recommends a diversified portfolio and then gets blamed when the market goes down.
A more enlightened leader holds a light of awareness to help others see what they are unable to see for themselves. Sometimes the light is just too bright. The one who needs the help somehow knows that looking into the light of awareness means there is no more excuses–no more resting in the darkness of denial. Taking responsibility is scary, and the enlightened leader knows this and has compassion. The problem for the enlightened leader is when he takes on the issues of his patient, employee, student, child or client, and tries to do the work for them.
Marlene Chism is an executive educator, consultant, and author of Stop Workplace Drama, (Wiley 2011) and No-Drama Leadership (Bibliomotion 2015). She works with executives, and high-performing leaders who want to transform culture in the workplace. To explore opportunities please email firstname.lastname@example.org