Wisdom – Worth More Than Gold!

Most decisions in organizations are made (or at least are purported to be made) based on logic. And while logic is absolutely necessary, it is not sufficient to assure good decisions and therefore successful results. Logic ignores the deeper truths that wisdom incorporates.

What is wisdom? How does it work? Wisdom comes from your inner being, your gravitas. It can be a still small voice which draws on experience and integrates that experience with knowledge. “It can reflect a deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as the ups and downs.” (Psychology Today) It takes the long view and provides a sense of balance.

Wisdom understands a connection with other individuals, organizations, and our earth. It values intangibles, such as beauty, harmony, and joy, which logic cannot measure and therefore excludes.

Wisdom understands that the world is not binary, not either on or off. It embraces nuance and multiple (potentially competing) perspectives. “Wise people specialize in what Roger Martin calls integrative thinking – ‘the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads’ – and reconcile them for the situation at hand.” (Psychology Today)

Wise people seek to understand, rather than judge. Instead of immediately criticizing, they ask “why” and listen, then work with the other person to understand underlying causes (which they then seek to remedy).

Wise people focus on their purpose in life even if that means putting their personal happiness on the back burner for a little while.

Wise people have a much greater impact on their organizations, their communities and society than smart people or otherwise “successful” people. They make a difference in people’s lives. And isn’t that, ultimately, what life is all about?

I welcome your feedback and comments.

Gary Langenwalter

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