Closing the wisdom gap


We accrue wisdom over time.

As a reasonable approximation, the more experiences we have the greater wisdom we accumulate.

It mightn’t feel as linear as it’s represented in the graph. There can be periods of great learning, followed by times of consolidation. Certain events unfold and open up new worlds of knowledge that previously didn’t seem relevant to us.

But pound for pound, you’re wiser now than you were last year. Or in your last job. Or the last time you did the thing you’re now on the hook to deliver.

Here’s an uncomfortable question for you: why isn’t that always obvious in your performance?

Or put another way: why do we sometimes behave as if we’re way back on that wisdom curve?

Do we just forget what we’ve already learned? Are we too busy to remember? Are we too busy to notice we haven’t remembered? Are we too stressed to notice we’re too busy?

Being aware of the wisdom gap is a useful benefit of coaching. Understanding what is impeding us from performing to our potential helps us refocus and re-engage more meaningfully.

But regardless of our relative levels of self-awareness, we can immediately improve our odds of doing better by asking, “Based on what I know about myself and the work at hand, what can I do now to give myself the best chance of success?”.

The more often we ask, the more we narrow that wisdom gap.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *