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Great Leaders Accumulate Their Wisdom Through Reciprocity, Risk, and Respect

Source | Entrepreneur 

It was my father, Frank Llopis, who taught me the importance of accumulating wisdom – and how to go about it by being hungry to learn and courageous enough to disrupt the status quo. I also learned from him to embrace reciprocity in relationships and to respect those whose purpose it was to make those around them better – and that success comes most to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue.

Like many immigrants, my father was forced into survival mode. Having lost his mother country to Castro’s revolution, he had to renew and reinvent himself in America. Listening to my father’s story was like taking a course in survival. Throughout my life, my father would often remind me:

“If you enrich your mind with meaningful knowledge each day, it will grow stronger; if you put it to the test, it will grow wiser.”

Wisdom guides our thinking, attitude and overall mindset. It pushes us to break through boundaries, and to see beyond the obvious. It directs our personal reinvention and impacts how our leadership influences everything and everyone we come into contact with each day.

As you travel on your own leadership journey, remember these three important ways to accumulate and cultivate more wisdom in the workplace.

1. Reciprocity

Leadership should never be one-sided, nor should the leader always be the one generating the ideas or making the decisions. Leadership means actively listening and advancing the ideas of others (and injecting recommendations along the way to further strengthen or add value to them). If you are the type of leader that needs all of the attention, you will not seek to cultivate wisdom in others.

Reciprocity is the key; cultivating wisdom requires being in-touch with what matters most to your employees and giving them the room to express their opinions and put their ideas to the test. The more you can gauge and unleash the passionate pursuits of your employees – the more effective you will be in challenging them to stretch their thinking and expand their endless possibilities.

Promoting reciprocity within the leader-employee relationship is critical to embracing diversity of thought, to inspiring independent thinking, and to stimulating new ways of doing things.

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