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Global Leaders Shift from Knowledge to Wisdom to Achieve Breakthroughs

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Around the world, people are experiencing a tremendous shift in how we communicate and interact with each other. Many people find that they are flooded with information and overwhelmed with knowledge. At the same time, artificial intelligence, technology, and robotics are replacing traditional jobs. Other people are seeking a life and lifestyle that is more holistic, one that incorporates Nature and expanded consciousness.

Underlying these dynamics is a radical evolution through which we all are moving: a shift from knowledge to wisdom. Experts such as researchers and authors Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson are seeing the emergence of a "planetary wisdom culture" that is breaking through the destruction of our materialistic-oriented systems and structures.

Further, Ray and Anderson note that this new wisdom-based world "transcends national and cultural boundaries," encompassing all of humanity. For the first time ever, humanity has the freedom to transform our communication, our interactions, and our work on a global scale.

Proliferation of Knowledge Creates Lack of Focus, Poor Decision-Making, and Inability to Reach Full Potential

Clearly, knowledge is no longer an advantage in our organizations and personal lives. Many people find themselves overloaded and overwhelmed with a flood of data, information, and knowledge. According to an article in Human Resources Management, information overload costs the U.S. economy at least $900 billion per year in lowered employee productivity and reduced innovation. Workers spend up to half their day managing information, the article reports.

We at GEI Global Leaders define knowledge as "knowing through familiarity, experience, or association." Knowledge work and knowledge workers have been around for the past few decades. It is common for people to take vast amounts of data and information and then apply their expertise or experience, distilling the information into nuggets of valuable knowledge upon which others can take action.

Knowledge allows us to clarify and better understand data and information. Peter Drucker, known as the Father of Modern Management, once stated: "Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose. Converting data into information thus requires knowledge. And knowledge, by definition, is specialized." Knowledge workers include analysts, technical writers, physicians, scientists, lawyers, academics, computer programmers, engineers, and architects.

As content continues to proliferate, some experts predict that beginning in 2020, knowledge will "double every 35 years," the Human Resources Management article states. All of this has caused workers to become irritable, unable to focus and make good decisions, and, ultimately, operating well below their full potential, the article concludes.

Moreover, knowledge work is being taken over by automation technology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Not only knowledge workers, but service workers and others as well, are experiencing displacement in their work as technology moves more deeply into all fields of endeavor. Artificial intelligence now is powering a new digital workforce. Platforms such as offer an online marketplace where users can interview and hire digital employees. These AI workers "take on high-volume and repeatable tasks, freeing human employees to work on higher-value tasks," the company states on their website.

It's Time to Evolve from Knowledge to Wisdom, a Whole-Brained Approach to Life

All of these marketplace shifts suggest that the door is open for human evolution into a new way of operating to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, as the graphic below shows. We need to shift into a life that is rooted in deep purpose and whole-brained practices that reflect wisdom.

Information Overload Opens the Door to Human Evolution to Wisdom

Following Drucker's statement, if knowledge is information endowed with experience, then wisdom is knowledge endowed with insight. Converting information into knowledge requires wisdom and wisdom-based workers. Wisdom allows us to clarify and better understand information and knowledge.

GEI Global Leaders defines wisdom as "insight, sound judgment, good sense, and deep knowing." Wisdom requires focus, awareness, and a more powerful engagement in the present moment. Wisdom leads to understanding and compassion.

Wisdom upgrades you to a new operating system inside yourself. You begin to find safety and security in the wealth of your inner resources. Your interactions evolve into more powerful forms of expression. You lead more purposefully. As a result, you are free to re-imagine your life and create breakthrough solutions to today's complex challenges.

Writing recently in OM Magazine, Madisyn Taylor affirms the power of listening to your inner wisdom. She states: "No force you will ever encounter will contribute as much to your ability to do what you need to do and be who you want to be as your natural wisdom. Through it, you reveal your growing consciousness to the greater source and discover the true extent of your strength."

Further, Taylor writes, "If you heed this wisdom with conviction and confidence, the patterns, people, and fears that held you back will be dismantled, paving the way for you to fulfill your truest potential."

Wisdom-Based Solutions Drive the "New Smart" Economy

How do we begin to convert information and knowledge into wisdom? The first step is to develop a whole-brained state of awareness. Whole-brained awareness means that you learn to synchronize the intelligences found in your right brain and left brain.

Through whole-brained functioning, you begin to tap into resources inside yourself that encompass and unify the interplay among your thoughts, emotions, physical bodies, and your values and beliefs.

Alignment to all of the capacities within yourself gives you the ability to operate more purposefully and powerfully, allowing your potential to unfold. You begin to tap into your intentions, which arise from your heart. You begin to access your genius mind, where you find your brilliance. You begin to achieve states of flow. With wisdom, you use more focused input to perceive your reality and act within it, thus leading to more optimal outcomes.

Wisdom and wisdom-based work is becoming more important. Wisdom-based solutions are called for in our evolving economy. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Ed Hess states that we are entering the "New Smart" economy. New Smart work is rooted in:

  • Purpose and passion

  • Inventive, creative, and critical thinking abilities, and

  • Emotional Engagement, which includes collaboration, empathy, listening, compassion, and quality of thinking.

A wisdom-based economy, experts Ray and Anderson suggest, "expands the taken for granted context of daily action, and of organizational strategies for longer time horizons, wider concerns, more conscious and more ethical ways of operating."

Wisdom "means caring for our inner lives, how we work together in organizations, and also for the long term future of humanity and the the planet," Ray and Anderson state. "And how we express the truth of that caring and share that truth with one another is going to be crucial to building an authentic wisdom culture."

Wisdom Generates Global Leadership: A Holistic Operating System for Humanity

What will it take to meet the challenges of a new and transformed world? Nothing short of:

  • A new vision for humanity

  • An evolution to whole-brained, wisdom-based practices

  • A new set of operating principles

  • Global Leadership, and

  • A global movement for transformation.

Wisdom takes your leadership to a whole new level. You become a Global Leader, as the graphic below shows. Global Leaders are holistic. They operate from a world perspective. They harmonize with their environments to achieve dynamic flow. Global Leaders engage life with intention, the genius mind, balanced exchange, and more. Global Leaders strive for fulfillment and to actualize their potential.

Global Leaders Shift Humanity to Evolutionary Ways of Relating

With wisdom, we begin to operate in more balance with ourselves, others, and our world. Wisdom includes gender balance, in which we honor and respect masculine and feminine values.

Wisdom also includes living in balance with nature and with the greater universe. Helena Norberg-Hodge, a political thinker, activist, and leader of the movement toward living more locally, states: "I think part of the big shift that we need is a better balance between masculine and feminine—finding a more deeply interconnected, nurturing side."

And science is catching up to explain the benefits of living in a balanced, deeply connected relationship to all life. Best-selling author Gregg Braden, a pioneer in bridging science and spirituality, states that new discoveries in biology and the neurosciences are revealing ways that our brain responds chemically to harmonize our biology with life-affirming thoughts and emotions.

This re-wires us in such a way that it "impacts our perception of reality itself" and helps us find certainty in an uncertain world, Braden writes. "It's precisely these changes that gives us the wisdom, confidence, and power to awaken a deeper power within ourselves," he states. Braden suggests that cultivating a deep relationship between your inner and outer worlds helps you to view your inspirations as "consciousness informing itself—reminding us of our untapped possibilities and potential."

Global Leadership Results in Transformation, Improved Outcomes, and Ability to Fulfill More of Our Potential

With wisdom, people begin to operate from a whole-brained state of existence. Operating from wisdom, people become Global Leaders. Global Leaders integrate the intelligences of their right brains and left brains. They realize our interrelatedness and interdependence. They transform reality.

Global Leaders operate holistically. They harmonize with their environments to achieve flow within complex realities. Global Leaders naturally practice Goodwill in Every Interaction.

Goodwill is a mindset of abundance and excellence that empowers us toward a new model of leadership. Goodwill maximizes the gifts of all people. Goodwill allows everyone to be a leader, marshaling all aspects of our being: mind, emotions, body, and values and beliefs. This results in the nurturing of human potential, gender balance, innovation, customer loyalty, and community sustainability.


Anderson, S. and Ray, P. "Cultural Creatives and the Emerging Planetary Wisdom Culture." Accessed June 16, 2020.

Braden, G. (2020) The Wisdom Codes. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.

Drucker, P. "The Coming of the New Organization." Harvard Business Review, Jan. 1988. Accessed May 4, 2020.

Drucker, P. F., Collins, J., Kotler, P., Kouzes, J., Rodin, J., Rangan, V. K., Hesselbein, F. (2008). The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hess, E. "In the AI Age, 'Being Smart' Will Mean Something Completely Different." Harvard Business Review, June 19, 2017.

IPsoft. "Conversational AI." Accessed May 26, 2020.

Pfister, C. "Information Overload: What Is It Doing to Your Employees?" Human Resources Management, March 3, 2017. Accessed May 26, 2020.

Powers, W. "On Radical Cultural Change: A conversation with political thinker Helena Norberg-Hodge." Earth Island Journal, Spring 2020. Accessed May 4, 2020.

Taylor, M. "Value Your Own Wisdom." Daily OM, April 24, 2020.

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