How to Grow in Wisdom

One of the greatest things a leader can strive for is to grow in wisdom. This is because wisdom is “the ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.” When a leader chooses to grow and become wise they lead more effectively. They also reap the rewards from gaining wisdom. Since wisdom is so valuable and beneficial, we should be intentional about growing in wisdom.

To grow in wisdom I suggest these 3 ways:

1. Grow in knowledge- Anyone can grow in knowledge because everyone can take the steps to learn and develop themselves. When you put time and energy to read, attend conferences, associate with people better than yourself, and become a lifelong learner you will grow in wisdom. This is because you are learning what others have learned and can apply it to your own life and leadership.

Albert Einstein said, “Wisdom is not the product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Growing in knowledge is one aspect of wisdom. It can’t just stop with knowledge but should be applied in gaining experience.

2. Gain experience- It is important to use your knowledge and talents to gain experience. When you do this over time the byproduct will be that you grow in wisdom in your specific niche or industry. You become wise in the areas you gain experience in. This is one of the reasons finding your purpose and talents is so important because it produces wisdom in your life.

It’s important to gain wisdom during the successes and failures you experience. They key is to evaluate what has happened, learn from it, then to keep stretching in your experiences so it moves you forward towards future wisdom.

3. Seek a higher power- The most effective way to grow in wisdom is by asking God for it. I have found praying for wisdom is a Leaders Greatest Prayer. God grants wisdom to those who pray and ask for it. The book of Proverbs says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” I want to encourage you begin to pray and ask God for wisdom on a daily basis.

When you gain knowledge, experience, and seek a higher power you will begin to see your wisdom increase.

Question: What are some other ways a leader can grow in wisdom?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I would add: don’t be afraid to ask advice/help from others.

    • Great addition Bill, thank you for sharing it.

  • Good thoughts Dan. I’d echo Bill below for another way: if you walk with the wise, you’ll start to grow wise.

    • It’s a great additional point!!! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • floyd

    You nailed it, Dan. I agree with all of them completely. The wisdom from seeking God in and through His word and prayer can’t be measured by a mathematical system… numbers can’t do it justice.

    • Thanks man. I totally agree with you Floyd. Seeking God for His wisdom is so essential for us. Thank you for sharing.

  • In regards to associating yourself with people better than you, I would say to try to surround yourself with wise council. Learn from others’ experiences…emulate what works well, avoid what doesn’t. Sometimes a poor leader can teach you more than intended.

    • I agree Scott, it’s important to have a inner circle of wise people.

      Great point about learning from poor leaders, I relate with this because I have had some poor managers in my work experience and they have taught me what not to do. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  • I think you hint at this with #1 and #2, but having good mentors is also so crucial. Experience is a great teacher – but other people’s experience can be also!

    • Thanks man:) Great additional points. It’s important to learn from both the good and bad examples of other people and their experiences.

  • I love how you included reading, that is so important. This is a good list buddy.

    • Yes it is. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  • Dan, all three very important. Especially the third since wisdom comes from fearing the Holy one of Israel himself, the Lord.

    • Amen about that! It’s the fastest way to grow in wisdom. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great advice for gaining wisdom: knowledge, experience, and a higher power. I’d add be willing to listen to and follow others who display wisdom.

    • Great point Dan! Being able to gain advice from wise people is essential, it can allow us to go in the right direction and cause us to grow in wisdom.

      • Of course there’s a difference between people with wisdom and what we call a “wise guy.” : ) But seriously, we also must beware of those who are simply wise in their own eyes.

        • So true:) great point. It requires discernment.

  • You’ve already mentioned this but its something that has worked powerfully in my life – associating with others who have more wisdom, experience and years in life. There’s some kind of wisdom that we must learn by ourselves then there’s the kind that can be gleaned from mentoring relationships. In mentoring, i don’t just get “taught” but i “catch” a whole lot of stuff.

    • I totally agree, about gaining wisdom “ourselves” and from others. I think it’s a balance between both. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • Ashley Black

    Great post Dan! Wise indeed!

  • I would add learning from others. I know a lot of smart people who try to figure things out themselves, and fail to learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others. When we learn from personal, we grow in wisdom.

    • Great point man! Thank you for adding to the discussion. Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply to you, I’ve just been sick.

  • Hey Dan, not sure if I can add anything else to what you already said on your article and what people have commented on the thread but I would add something that can prevent wisdom and that is FEAR.

    Fear to ask, fear to try, fear to test, fear to do and yes, even fear to success.

    I’m not saying that being fearless will lead to become a wise person but it certainly won’t get in the way.

    • I totally agree Sergio. Fear can hold a person back from so many good things. Thank you for mentioning that aspect. I appreciate it.

  • I will also add take time to reflect on what you know/learned. Challenge yourself for deeper understanding of why you accept what you know/learned as true. Ask yourself how you can apply what you know/learned. This exercise on self reflection stretches our capacity to grow in wisdom

    • Sorry for the late reply. Great additional points, knowing the why is essential.