How Do You Acquire Wisdom?

Uncategorized Sep 30, 2019

The definition of Wisdom is the soundness of act or decision based on knowledge, experience and good judgment.  I LOVE this definition.  Why?  It tells you exactly how to acquire Wisdom!

Interested in making WISER decisions?  Let's focus on KNOWLEDGE.

Tom Peters, a prolific business writer of the 80's and 90's, gave us a provocative way to describe the Information Age.  First there was Data.  We built systems to store and transfer it.  Then came Information.  We elevated the importance of information to the C-suite with, Chief Information Officer.  Then, we included people.  When a person stores or transfers information and applies it, we have KNOWLEDGE!  We entered the Age of the Knowledge Worker.  Through social networking studies, we found key knowledge nodes in organizations – people who generated tremendous value with the sheer knowledge (and experience) they accumulated. 

Knowledge workers work smart.  They go deep.  They research deeper than the rest.  They have an unquenchable curious desire to learn how something works.  Even how it works in abnormal conditions.  And in so doing, they navigate the most complex situations.  (NOTE:  We'll talk about Analysis Paralysis in another post!)

What is your most critical decision this month? 

You can certainly make that decision with your gut, your intuition, your feelings.  How can you put more WISDOM into that decision?


Research.  Analyze.  Talk to experts. 

In our attention deficit world, we make decisions on gut feelings and soundbytes.  Fast.  Fast.  Fast.  Unfortunately, fast, ungrounded decisions don't stick.  We receive another shred of data and we change our opinion.  We negate our decision.  Renege on our commitments. 


When I started a new consulting project, task #1 for my team wasn't to learn the contract, deep dive on what we need to deliver to our clients or the deadlines we need to meet. 

Task #1:  Learn the client's business. 

  • How does the client generate value? Make money? 
  • What is their most profitable business/product?
  • Who are their most important customers?
  • Who are the major competitors?

On a project at a Fortune 500 consumer products company, the client had display cases where they proudly showed their products.  I frequently stopped at these display cases and asked my team, 'which product generates most revenue?'  We deepened our CI - Client Intelligence.  In fact, the client cited 'knowing our business' as a key differentiator when we won the next project (multi-million)! 

Knowledge is a powerful tool!  Before making the next Big Decision, gather 3-5 knowledge nuggets to help you make a high-quality decision that STICKS! 

Let's enter the Wisdom Age! 

Are you with me?


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