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Knowledge vs Wisdom

Written by Rebecca Okamoto on Sept. 27, 2014

"The good news is, you don't need to be brilliant to be wise. The bad news is, without wisdom, brilliance isn't enough." Barry Schwartz

What's the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Recently I was emailing with a new sales manager, Keith, on a variety of subjects. I like Keith; he's bright, inquisitive and self aware. After several exchanges I noticed that in every one of Keith's emails, regardless of the topic, was the question "how do you know?"

The more answers I gave Keith, the more questions he had. I could see he was looking for definitive answers that I could not give. I finally emailed back saying, "you are looking for knowledge when you should be seeking wisdom."

Which then begs the question, "what's the difference between knowledge and wisdom"?

It's important for leaders to use moments like this to develop extraordinary talent. I gave Keith my answer, but I also emailed friends, family and colleagues and asked them to weigh in. Take a look at their definitions and think how you might answer Keith.

Paul Smith, Author, Keynote speaker

-Intelligence is to analysis as wisdom is to knowledge. Meaning, intelligence is the wise use of analysis, and wisdom is the intelligent use of knowledge.

Rev. Toshio Okamoto (retired) Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

-I look at knowledge as dealing with facts and wisdom as dealing beneficially with the facts.

Elia Lopez, Plant Manager, Procter & Gamble

-Knowledge is a collection of information in our brains. Wisdom is what we do with the information. Wisdom involves emotional intelligence, knowing when / how / who, and making the connection.

Marie Osipa, Licensed Private Investigator

Knowledge is knowing the answer. Wisdom is asking the question. Meaning that wisdom is the realization of knowing that you'll never have all the answers and always being willing to grow, explore, and learn.

Dom Liberati, Musician, Editor - 20 Something

-Knowledge is based on information. Wisdom is based on experience. To have knowledge is to have an understanding, but to have wisdom is to have discernment.

Pastor David Davis, West Region VP of the Michigan District: Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

-Knowledge consists in information. Wisdom consists in the Godly and appropriate application of knowledge.

Knowledge developed the atom bomb. Wisdom has struggled with what to do with it ever since.

Original post date Feb 28, 2014

Pondering wisdom? Check out Invoke page and look for Our Loss of Wisdom featuring Barry Schwartz.

Do you like these questions? Here's a link to the popular post What's the Difference between Listening and Hearing and see how Evoke contributors weigh in.

Have a comment or question about wisdom? Follow Evoke.pro's LinkedIn page or send me an email using the links below.


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