The WICS Model of Leadership

Robert J. Sternberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Leadership

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398793
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The WICS Model of Leadership


This chapter discusses the wisdom, intelligence, creativity, synthesized (WICS) theory of leadership. This WICS model indicates that a synthesis of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity offers a powerful basis for explaining leader success. Perceptions of leaders are filtered through stories. Ethics is significant in wisdom and in leadership development. It is suggested that ethical reasoning does not just “happen.” WICS provides a way of understanding leadership as a set of cognitive-decision processes embodying wisdom, intelligence, and creativity. An effective leader requires creative skills and dispositions to come up with ideas, analytical/academic skills and dispositions to determine whether they are good ideas, practical skills and dispositions to make the ideas work and convince others of the value of the ideas, and wisdom-based skills and dispositions to assure that the ideas are in the service of the common good.

Keywords: leadership; WICS model; wisdom; intelligence; creativity; leaders; ethical reasoning; effective leader

Article.  12146 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »