The Age of Wisdom



“Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment.” — Tao Te Ching

The more I study Covey, the more I find he was ahead of his time.

I’ve been sifting through my collection of Stephen Covey material, looking for nuggets that have inspired me in some way over the years.

In the book, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, Stephen Covey gives his take on the road ahead.

Wisdom is The Road Ahead

Covey was a never-ending wealth of wisdom, and very well researched.  He did an amazing job of coalescing patterns and trends into deeply meaningful insight and action.

One of the nuggets that I came across is Stephen Covey on “What’s next?”

Via The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness:

“I suggest it will be wisdom.  Unless you have have principles at the center of a person’s heart and soul and in the relationships and culture of an organization, you cannot build high trust.  And without high trust you cannot have empowerment. 

When rules take the place of human judgment, you can’t nurture a climate of innovation and creativity; instead you will nurture a kiss-up culture.  Without high trust and aligned structures and systems based on an abundance paradigm, you cannot get TQM or quality. 

Of necessity, the Age of Wisdom, in my opinion, will follow the Age of Information, where the essence of leadership will be to be a servant leader.”

The Age of Insight

It’s music to my ears. I’m a fan of wisdom.  One of the goals of Sources of Insight is to put wisdom at your fingertips, by sharing the wisdom of the ages and modern sages.  I think of it as “wisdom in action.”

A while back, a reader of Sources of Insight suggested that after the Age of Information, the Age of Insight has arrived.  I replied:

“It really is the age of insight.  It’s amazing how many things we can answer in today’s world … with depth, science, and intuition on our sides … and the collective conscious.  Now of course, the keys are …. asking the right questions, getting meaningful results, and leading our best lives.”

Insight is Wisdom

Interestingly, one of my favorite definitions of wisdom is:

“ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight”

The dots connect.

In reading Covey’s prediction of the way forward, I feel on path with Sources of Insight.

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  1. Oh… the culture of kiss-up… anyway…
    It’s interesting that the technology trends supports this take on age of wisdom or age of insight. Look waht’s happening with Big Data (information) and BI (insights/wisdom), and now withthe cloud it’s available to the massess at fraction of cost or even free.
    How you compete with free? I know the answer but I will let you answer this since you framed it originally very nicely some time ago and it actually sinked with me very deeply only yesterday.

  2. Hi J.D. — I definitely agree with you that Covey was ahead of his time — what comes to mind for me is the beginning of the 7 Habits, where he talks about the “personality ethic” versus “character ethic” approaches taken in personal development books — I think that this distinction is only starting to be recognized by many writers on self-help and personal development.

  3. @ Alik — I really like how you linked it up with the tech trends.

    I think wisdom in niches will create new markets. As we move up the stack, the value really does become experience, and knowledge in action (the wisdom way.)

    @ Chris — That is a gem.

    I forgot all about that one, and now I remember the first time I heard it. It made perfect sense. Covey has such a great way of making his big ideas, so consumable and so compelling.

    Covey took things deep and people will continuously discover and re-discover his work for years to come.

  4. The age of Insight! I like it JD… Indeed Stephen Covey was a transformative figure when it came to sharing wisdom and insight. like you rightly point out we can carry on this vision. More and more folks understand that our mind is always mingling with Universal Mind, but we tuned it out when we tuned in to the NO’s.
     The infinite intelligence of Universal Mind is our source of incalculable wisdom and truth.  Its intelligence
    is omnipresent; it is as available as the next breath of air that we take.

  5. @ Rob — Now that sounds like a fresh breath of air, and the idea of infinite intelligence is inspiring.

    All the slots on my bookshelf are full, but I have yet to fill all the slots in my mind … and it’s fun trying.

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