Q: Why is wisdom like good taste?
Answer: Everybody agrees it's important, but nobody seems to know exactly what it is. I suspect that's because no one has had the audacity and reckless disregard for conventional thinking to stick his neck out and define the concept. Well, audacity and reckless disregard are part of my job description, so here goes.
Hold your hands a few inches apart, palms facing each other. Your left hand stimulus-an event, conversation or person that trips an emotional hair trigger in your mind. Your right hand is your response to this stimulus. Wisdom is the distance in time between the left hand and the right hand, between stimulus and response.
In ineffective leaders this distance is often short because they tend to shoot from the hip and react with anger, panic or sarcasm-not what brings out breakthrough performance in people. Effective leaders increase the time between stimulus and response. Instead of lashing out, they stop. They breather. They consider and control their response. As a result, they are more capable of defusing negative situations and empowering others to be at their best.
How do you measure wisdom? How far apart are your hands? What could you do to expand that distance?