One of the joys of my work at Yabwi is daily learning from very talented people. Over the last few weeks I've enjoyed conversations with some remarkably successful business executives and a common theme emerged.
While reflecting on the challenges and successes of their respective organizations, each and every one of these leaders spoke about the difficulties in managing a multi-generational workforce that is geographically dispersed. And they all independently reached the same conclusion: that too often there is something that is lacking in their employees--even among extremely intelligent and talented people.
What's the missing ingredient? Wisdom
Wisdom is a big deal to these executives. It's reflected in important job activities such as decision making, relationships, communications, customer service, and so much more. They have plenty of smart people around them, but what they really want is a learning organization that grows individually and collectively in wisdom.
Professional development and human resources strategies have to consider that learning alone isn't the ultimate goal. Gaining in wisdom and engagement--that's what is most desirable.
You may have lots of reasons to learn: Continuing education, certification, licensure, competitive pressure, etc. Engaging your people in exercises that identify, develop, and share wisdom can also be an integral part of your talent strategy.
How does one grow in wisdom?
Perseverance through certain types of experiences seems to contribute well to the development of wisdom. Intelligence (intellectual, emotional, interpersonal, spiritual, etc.) muscles increase grow through the grit and determination necessary to work through challenging circumstances--both pleasant and unpleasant. Age isn't always an indicator, but grey hair gained through adversity is common among those who are respected as wise.
Humility appears to be consistently present with wisdom. Self awareness is a strength among the wise, with precise understanding about their personality, strengths, beliefs, instincts, skills and limitations. They understand and value the talents of other people, and avoid comparisons to others.
Perspective is another contributing factor among the wise. They have the ability to see things from different angles
Deep Listening is common trait among the wise, seeking to understand, read between the lines, empathize, and respond accordingly.