By Mike Crandall
March 23, 2021

How to gain real wisdom

You may think wisdom comes from experience, but that's not entirely accurate.

Think about the word “wisdom” for a minute. We use it, in some form, all the time in both our professional and our personal lives. Often, we refer to certain people as “wise” or say that they are full of “wisdom.” Countless times we look to get “wisdom” from others. We seek it out, looking to glean insight from others we view as “wise.”

However, seldom do we slow down and truly pay attention to where “wisdom” comes from. And even when we do, we often miss the most critical part of how it is developed or gained. Commonly, we think “wisdom” comes from experience. We think, or say, things like – “They have been doing it for X number of years, so they must be good at it.”

Time and experience certainly contribute to “wisdom.” However, that alone does not make someone “wise.” It is really easy to have lots of experience and still not know what you are doing. Just because someone has been doing something for a long time does not make them good, efficient, effective, or “wise.” Think about people you know with hobbies like golf. Most of us know someone who has played for years and is not any better today than he or she was a decade ago.

Where does “wisdom” actually come from? It comes from experience that has been evaluated. Think about it this way – I could do something twenty times, forty times, or even more and still be doing it wrong. It would not be “wise” to follow my way of doing it. However, if I do something and constantly evaluate the experience, take the time to debrief, then use that knowledge to pre-brief the next attempt, I will find ways to improve or get better each time.

“Wisdom” only comes from evaluated experience! Anything else risks making us look like a fool over and over again. It involves slowing down or stopping to assess the experience that gives us “wisdom” honestly.

Many of us watched to Super Bowl in 2021, where Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl Championship with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. One tremendous factor in that win was how much time Tom Brady spends evaluating his experience. Constantly his teammates are interviewed, and they share how much Tom watches film, dissects the game, and spends time evaluating everything to be better in the next game.

If we look at the business world, we can see that we are often “too busy” to take time to slow down, or even stop, and evaluate what we have done or are doing. We run from meeting to meeting or call to call and make the same mistakes over and over again. We don’t even realize we are making things more difficult by not taking (or making) the time to truly evaluate our experience.

Think about how much better your team and you could be if you stopped or slowed down and evaluated your experience — if you took the time to debrief meetings, calls, projects, etc., then used those debriefs to pre-brief the next meeting, call, project, etc. How much better, more efficient, or effective could your organization, team, and you be?

So, let me ask – how much time, energy, and money have you wasted looking for “wisdom” that you never found? Or how much has it cost you to get experience without the true wisdom of the evaluated experience to ensure it was helpful? If you don’t know or don’t like the answers – find a Business Growth Consultant who can help.

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About Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in Elevating Leadership, Management, & Sales Performance for Proactive Business Growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves Visionary Clients across the United States. He can be reached at (405) 844-1700.