The pursuit of wisdom and the role of critical thinking

Very few biblical lessons have stayed with me over the course of my life. But one has and it’s possibly the most powerful leadership insight I have to offer you.

Solomon, upon the death of his father David, appeared before God in a dream. God granted Solomon one wish as he embarked on his reign as King of Israel. Solomon asked for Wisdom.

Stacked up against the other sexier character traits that leadership espouses (charisma, vision, ambition, etc.), wisdom might seem lackluster.

However, if you think about it a little more deeply you will see the widespread need for wisdom in business leadership, simply because not much is straightforward in business any longer.

Most acts of leadership require sound judgment:

  • Crafting a Strategy relies on deep insight
  • Setting a Culture requires fluidity and sensitivity
  • Reaching Optimal Performance requires deftness and nuance

This brings me to Critical Thinking and how to cultivate wisdom.

In this excellent article, Solitude and Leadership on the equally excellent blog site Farnam Street, a case was made for the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of critical thinking. It’s a long-form read that might easily be glossed over but it’s worthy of your attention.

Becoming wise is certainly not something for me to opine on as I am seeking wisdom just like you are. What I can say, however, having observed people at close quarters for two decades, is that wisdom requires a significant amount of hard work, self-knowledge, reflection, and egolessness.

It’s a profound and worthy journey that offers limitless advantages but only those who truly seek the best in their leadership will take it.

May we all take it together.

With encouragement for the week ahead.

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My weekly missive, CEO Sundays, is published at 5pm every Sunday evening. The writings cover CEO topics exclusively: how-to’s; thought starters; leadership insights; reflection opportunities; research.

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