How To Lead Like A Sage (at a younger age)

Jann Freed Leading 1 Comment

People who regularly read my blog know that I am passionate about sage-ing or positive aging.  After writing my book Leading with Wisdom:  Sage Advice from 100 Experts,  I started to weave these concepts into leadership development since the most important person to lead is yourself.  One of my main conclusions in my book is that “it is hard to be a good leader if you are not a good person.”  So becoming a sage is a great learning journey.

But what does it mean to lead with wisdom by becoming a sage?

And does one have to be old to be a sage?

Wisdom comes from processing life experience into lessons.  Becoming a sage requires a person to be reflective, introspective, thoughtful, and grateful.  As a person who likes to watch basketball, I found myself cheering for Kevin Durant even more so than wanting the Warriors to win.  I wanted Durant to win a NBA Championship and it all stems back to his MVP of the League speech from 2013-14.  In fact, I often show his speech in my leadership workshops and course because he demonstrates and reflects so many of the themes from my book.  If Durant can keep his ego in “check,” he is on his way to becoming a sage that people will want to model his behaviors.  Much can be learned about him as a leader as he reflects the themes in my book such as:

If Durant can keep his ego in “check,” he is on his way to becoming a sage because people will want to model his behaviors.  Much can be learned about him as a leader as he reflects the themes in my book such as:

  • Leaders Know Who They Are
  • Leaders Don’t Let Ego Win
  • Leaders Connect with Empathy and Compassion
  • Leaders Are Resilient
  • Leaders Build Community

Since the Warriors won the Championship and Durant was selected as MVP of the Tournament, I watched his 2013-14 speech again and it continues to move me every time.  If you watched it years ago, I encourage you to watch it again.  If you never witnessed Durant giving this speech, you must watch it now.  Pay attention to the themes listed above.  But I also made another list after watching it again last week.  In this speech, I hear and/or see Durant:

  • Being willing to be vulnerable by showing emotion.
  • Demonstrating humility
  • Giving specific credit to others: teammates and family
  • Having courage
  • Sharing his passion
  • Talking about the value of relationships and social connections
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Reflecting servant leadership

His closing line is probably loved by all moms across the globe:

“My mom is the real MVP.”

Tell me what you learn from watching and carefully listening to this speech.  Would you want to follow him?  Would he lift you up?