Why Information Alone Won’t Make You Wise.
Life in the Information Age is a kind of miracle that previous generations could only imagine.
Tiny devices in our purses and pockets connect us to vast libraries of knowledge on virtually every topic imaginable.
Through our smart phone, tablets and computers, a tap of a key can bring up ancient manuscripts from the world’s most prestigious libraries. We can feed our devices numbers and they will calculate rates of return and debt ratios and projections for us.
We can list some symptoms and get back a diagnosis of what is likely wrong with us and whether or not we should head for our doctor’s office or the hospital emergency department.
We can find dates and spouses and people who want to live in our homes while we travel the world. We can find the background on people and companies we are planning to meet, and read blogs from thought leaders all over the world.
But what we are learning as we apply all of this to our businesses, is that information alone does not make us wise.
Information, it turns out, is more or less just a series of facts. Putting all those facts together and knowing what they mean is the secret to wisdom.
To put it in business terms, entrepreneurship is establishing a business, a budget, a bookkeeping system, a product, a sales team, and some customers. Accepting that reality gives you the knowledge you need to start your business.
But having all of those business components lined up does not necessarily guarantee that your business will be successful.
It means simply that you have knowledge of what is needed to make your business run, but you don’t know if you have the wisdom to make it work.
Once you have made your first profitable year, saved enough to propel you into the next one, and figured out how you can make all the components come together more effectively, then you have wisdom.
There is also a moral aspect to wisdom. It allows you to decide if you will run a quality company with respect for your workers and customers, or whether you will take advantage of people and deliver as little as possible. It will guide how you stand on pro-environmental practices and what you put back into this planet from the riches you may reap from it.
Information is a form of mental inertia. It is only when you apply your brain to information that you will grow successfully. It allows you to set standards and goals. It gives you momentum to grow beyond what you imagined possible and the wisdom to do it for the benefit of yourself and others.
Wisdom is the flag that signals the direction you should take when you come to a crossroad. It is the honest, simple answers that emerge from the complicated questions of business and of life.
A lot of companies today are totally data-driven. They work on the assumption that as long as you have all the information at your fingertips, you will be a success.
And you do need to have good data; to ignore that would be foolish.
But you need more than the data to determine where your company needs to grow for the future.
You need to take that data and apply it to the people who buy your product or service and understand how those facts are impacting them. From those facts, what trends will emerge? How will people interpret what is happening and will it push them to buy what you currently offer, or will they want something different?
When you can do that, you have wisdom and you can guide your business to new heights of success.
Paula Morand, CSP is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and bold impact. 23 years, 25,000 clients, 19 countries, 11 books, former radio personality, 10x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s newest book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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