Knowledge & Wisdom in the Work Place



Knowledge occurs when one engages in a learning experience whether that be athletically;professionally; personally. When I was training for several years for my second degree black belt, my time was filled with learning skill sets and techniques in order to equip my ability to successfully perform in the ring, although the skills had value in and of themselves, the richest value came in the the boots on the ground experience which fueled wisdom. Knowledge (accumulated learning) is actually a vital piece in the puzzle of acquiring wisdom. Wisdom according to Merriam-Webster is knowledge gained by having many experiences in life, the natural ability to understand things that most people can’t understand which in my opinion occurs most efficaciously in the experiences we have on this earth journey.



When I went for a post grad two year program in education in my early 20s, the two years were packed with material designed to teach me the systems of effective teaching modalities. This accumulated learning had value in that it prepared me with the systems for effective delivery yet because I was just entering the field of education, the book knowledge was void of wisdom gained from experience. Currently I am enrolled in a Masters Program in Adult Education and training. This time, I have 17 years  as a business owner/certified coach/author/speaker which has provided me with a rich reservoir of experience to pull from as I am accumulating learning. Because of the experience I am able to see systems that work and those that have not worked along with the variables at play which sabotaged good intended efforts for change management and personal excellence.



I believe that the greatest teachers are consistent students who maintain a space of childlike humility and curiosity along with integrity. Remembering that each and every situation provides a rich abundance of learning and growth allows one to occupy a space of curiosity which ignites the brains ability to tune into effective solutions.  On the flip side when one allows a certain rank, position or educational degree to define ones self-importance, the ego quickly slithers in and bullies those around it who do not measure up or fall in line with its self proclaimed superiority. The ego, drunk on self-importance and educational superiority, renders itself incapable of tuning into effective change management opportunities and efficacious human resource development because the only voice that matters is its own.  Personally I have witnessed this in companies on several different occasions.



When rank, position or educational achievement is not mixed with humility and servant leadership (loving and serving first then leading), the results can quickly spin the greatest company culture into a scene from The Lion King after the humble and strong Mufasa was killed and replaced by the power hungry brother Scar. Fear, doubt and worry become the fuel which ignites envy, jealousy and insecurity.  Too often it is an accident waiting to happen to give responsibility to someone who has the degree yet lacks the wisdom to know how to best implement the accumulated learning in a way which supports the system (made up of human beings) in place. As much as I personally love those text book theories they are too often theories which can not be applied to every situation.  They are best utilized when coupled with experience (wisdom). A degree without wisdom (knowledge gained by having many experiences) is a great stepping stone for learning and growth when the participant practices humility and curiosity and remains open to the process of gaining the experience needed to successfully implement the learning.



Human beings excel under the influence of connection; trust; safety and empowerment. These three areas require a servant leadership from one who is willing to step aside from rank, position and/or educational achievement and jump into the lives of his/her people. Rather than a superiority energy, servant leaders look for opportunities to create bridges of communication between those who have knowledge without wisdom and those who have wisdom without the knowledge to know how to use it best in order to positively champion the people around them.


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