This is a guest contribution by Nick Rojas
Have you ever used the words “knowledgeable” and “wise” interchangeably before? Many people mistakenly believe that these two words mean intelligent or full of information. However, the truth is to have knowledge and to possess wisdom are actually very different concepts.
Knowledge vs Wisdom: What’s the difference?
Knowledge is a sum of all of the information, facts and data that you have acquired throughout your life through learning or from personal experience. When you read a textbook, you acquire knowledge about the subject matter. Wisdom, on the other hand, is the ability to take knowledge and apply it to your own life.
Knowledge is considered by some people to be passive, meaning you can absorb facts and details without much effort. Walk outside, and you’ll be able to tell that the sky is blue and the grass is green without expending any real energy.
Wisdom requires much more effort because it requires that a person use judgment skills to reach conclusions or make assumptions. You can’t have wisdom without knowledge, but you can certainly have knowledge without wisdom. Once knowledge is acquired, it’s up to each individual to take what is learned and make it applicable to life.
How can knowledge and wisdom be acquired?
Many people enter the world of business with a college degree and believe that they have what it takes to climb the corporate ladder, not realizing that they lack wisdom. Wisdom is a deeper form of expertise that can only be gained by experiencing different situations and learning how to react and handle them. This is why so many of the greatest people in business have started from the bottom of a company and worked their way up to be considered a wise leader. They have seen it all, developed strong judgment skills, and learned how to apply their knowledge to their careers.
How do knowledge and wisdom affect business?
In business, the power to transform knowledge into wisdom is essential for success. An informed and knowledgeable business owner will be able to tell you that his target audience is female between the ages of 25-40. These business owners will know that their customers prefer to shop using a catalog. However, a business owner with wisdom will use this knowledge to drive sales by creating an engaging catalog design that appeals to this specific demographic. In this situation, the business owner took facts that he knew about his audience, came to the conclusion that he needed to appeal to this market, and then assumed that a new design would draw their attention. These steps are the fundamentals of true wisdom are important for all areas of business, but especially when it comes to marketing and sales.
To harness your potential in business, ask yourself if you’re doing everything you can to demonstrate wisdom in the workplace. Are you listening to clients’ needs and prior experiences to fully understand their business?
Are you paying attention to the current wants and demands of your customer base? If not, now is the time to grow wiser and therefore, more successful.
Nick Rojas wears many hats — business consultant, serial entrepreneur, business and technology journalist. For the past 20 years, this self-taught marketing strategy has worked with small to medium sized businesses offering his personal brand of expertise. His latest adventure includes working with Brilliance.