Wisdom is superior to intelligence

Wisdom is superior to intelligence

 Joseph C. Ibekwe

There’s a world of difference between being intellectually and academically sound and being wise. While a leader needs to be very intelligent, he/she does not necessarily have to be on top of the academic ladder.

Moreover, while it is important for a leader to be intelligent, it is much more important for a leader to possess wisdom. Wisdom is superior to sound academic achievements. All our educational institutions in this country, for instance, are headed by intellectuals and persons of high academic achievements. Yet these Institutions are run. The heads of these Institutions lack the requisite wisdom to recreate their institutions into self-sustaining centres of learning and doing. The lecturers and teachers at these Institutions are constantly agitating for one or the other. Maybe it’s their fault or the fault of the system, but the lack of wisdom in the hearts of the leaders is the primary source of the problems in our educational institutions. That’s why we need educational leaders.

In our polity, the lack of leaders with wisdom is the primary reason we have unending social chaos and underdevelopment. Without wise leaders, a nation suffers; and without educated citizens, the nation even suffers further.

Educated citizens are not necessarily those who went to formal school and learned to read, recite and write. Educated citizens are those who understand their responsibilities and obligations to their society and community as citizens and are committed to discharging those responsibilities without waiting to be promoted.

A wise leader is the who knows what to say, how to say it when to say it, and where to say it. Wise leadership begins from communication, a word a leader says and does not say. The terms of a leader are too precious to be toyed with. A wise leader understands the power of his words; therefore, he or she is very tactful in how he or she communicates, both verbal and none verbal.

A wise leader understands that there is an appropriate time and place to say some things. He also understands there is a time and place where not to say certain things. It is this application of wisdom that sets individuals apart in the public space as real leaders.

A wise leader also understands that it is not just what you say that matters, how you say it and when you say it, are equally important.

Think leadership. Acquire wisdom. Wisdom is stronger than weapons of war. Wise leaders do their best to avert war, not because they are afraid, but because they understand the terrible consequences of war on their people. They would rather jaw-jaw than go to war.

In our environment, many unwise leaders occupy positions of leadership in public places. They are responsible for the dysfunctional state of our society.

Without wise leaders, a society will wallow in chaos and poverty.

Leadership Coach

@FLED International Leadership Institute, Abuja

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