Leveraging Wisdom for Influence
Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
- Proverbs 13:20
Wisdom can be caught, not just taught. The people around us influence us. This is news we can use.
Social scientists have demonstrated this effect time and time again. During a drought, researchers in California told folks who used a lot of water on their lawns that their neighbors were using water more conservatively and saw a decrease in consumption. Robert Cialdini said: “The mere perception of the normal behavior of those around us is very powerful.”
Andy Stanley puts it this way: “Your friends determine the direction and quality of your life.” If you surround yourself with wise people, their wisdom rubs off on you. One person’s wisdom can have a ripple effect, blessing the community in which they’re planted.
We can leverage this reality in our lives. If we want to grow in wisdom, we need to spend time with those who have wisdom.
Don’t just think of this generally. Think about specific areas. Maybe you want to grow in wisdom as relates to parenting or your finances or your health or something to do with your career or gardening. Someone who has wisdom in one area of life might lack it in others. That’s true for us. It’s probably true for you too. We’re all wise in some areas and foolish in others.
Pinpoint an area where you’d like to grow. Who has wisdom in that area of life? What would it take for you to spend some time with them and to walk with them in their area of expertise?