Wisdom is in the Fringes

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I have had conversations with peers about this subject.  I’m looking for more scholarly references to this topic that I have often mused over.  My boss refers to it as the advantages of being “grey” (as in grey hair).  The topic is this.  People who strive for being better and are reflective and have some experience over time, have become more successful because of a series of adjustments and behaviors that have allowed them to maximize effectiveness while minimizing distractions (and landmines).

These adjustments are micro-adjustments.  They are subtle, finely tuned behaviors that aren’t given much play in general management culture but are numerous in types.  They are specific in the context of the situation they occur.  Over a period of time, the accumulation of the benefits of those positive adjustments and the avoidance of negatives gives you much greater success than the standard core strengths you and I know.

This is a subjective matter. Remembering that success is subjective, wisdom doesn’t necessarily lead to success in the typical sense of advancement and wealth. Wisdom is a success on its own merits for people who value it as such.

I have a formula for wisdom and success with reference to this model:

W = uB * IuB + FuB * IFuB

S = MB + W

(This formula can be wildly adjusted as wisdom can be all of success or nothing.  That depends on your values.)

W = Wisdom


MB = Macro Behavior: generally accepted management behaviors and tactics that are considered advantageous and leading to success.  These can be: be organized, convey your message succinctly, forge partnerships, have integrity, etc.

uB = Micro Behavior: as above but not as generally recognized, not as impactful behaviors, honed to a particular incident

IuB = Incidents giving the opportunity for a positive micro behavioral moment to occur

FuB = a failed micro behavior

IFuB = Incidents giving the opportunity for a positive micro behavioral moment to occur but has failed

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