Wisdom. Every leader would wish they had more wisdom.
Knowledge: Every leader strives to gain more knowledge
So where do the two intersect? Where are they most valuable? How do they strengthen each other?
In my last “Learning Leadership” blog, I talked about the value of the leader and the value of the manager. I talked about the unique qualities and how each of those is to be equally valued. Today, I’d like to talk about how wisdom and knowledge are used in leadership.
Smart people are full of knowledge. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. It empowers you to make educated decisions about rational questions. It is gained through experience, reading, listening and doing. Knowledge is possible regardless of your age or experience level.
“Wisdom is the faculty of making the use of knowledge, a combination of discernment, judgement, sagacity and similar powers. If knowledge is the accumulation of facts and intelligence the development of reason, wisdom is emotional and spiritual discernment. More than knowledge, it is the right application of knowledge in moral and spiritual matters, in handling dilemmas, in negotiating complex relationships. Wisdom is nine-tenths a matter of being wise in time. Most of us are often too wise after the event! It is insight into the heart of the matter.” Wise people see beyond the facts and figures. They avoid problems before they occur. Wisdom is gained through experience, patience and listening.
It’s been said that smart people learn from their mistakes. Do you agree?
One of my favorite quotes I’ve recently heard is this:
Smart people learn from their mistakes. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others.
So which one are you? Are you the journeyman who has to experience everything to learn or do you learn by the actions of others? It’s often assumed that wisdom is a trait reserved for the older wise man who sits in a chair of power imparting his guidance. However, I have come to believe that wisdom is available to anyone willing to humble themselves enough to learn from the mistakes of others. Rather than having to do things “their way,” wise people follow the example of men greater than themselves.