Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This series of posts flows from two premises and one conclusion: (1) people follow leaders; (2) Jesus is The Perfect Leader; and therefore (3) everyone (including marketplace leaders) should consider following Jesus.
GREAT LEADERS VALUE WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM CHILDREN
“If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.” – Naomi, 15
“Never try to baptize a cat.” – Eileen, 8
“Never trust a dog to watch your food.” – Patrick, age 10
“Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” ~Jesus
The Oxford English Dictionary defines wisdom as the “capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends.” More succinctly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon defined wisdom as “the right use of knowledge.”
Over the last few years, the ability to judge rightly has been enormously enhanced by advances in information technology. In this era of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, data mining algorithms and enormous computational power are empowering certain decisions in unprecedented ways. For example, the field of medicine is undergoing a sea change in the diagnostic arena as images are compared with enormous databases to provide a more statistically accurate determination of disease.
Of course, as with any technological advance, there is great potential for misuse, a topic for another day. Suffice to say, the key word in Artificial Intelligence is “artificial.” Genuine intelligence is a product of mind or consciousness. Scientific advances notwithstanding, no one knows what consciousness is and most academics engaged in this area are pessimistic about science’s ability to ever solve this profound mystery. For a very good overview of Artificial Intelligence, watch this excellent talk by Dr. John Lennox, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at University of Oxford.
While we don’t know what consciousness is, we do know it is an integral part of what it means to be human. Importantly, it includes the capacity to make moral judgments, a capacity not present in machines. Over many years, I am amazed by the wisdom on display at the boards of directors on which I have served. Board members bring a wide range of experience and intelligence to bear on various issues. And most decisions incorporate the application of moral choices.
As God incarnate, Jesus is the wisest person in history. In his letter to the newly established church in Rome, the Apostle Paul made the following assertion. “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?” Who indeed!
Over the centuries, many (including some hostile to the Christian faith) have remarked on the wisdom of Jesus’ words and actions during his brief earthly ministry. While I don’t know whether Jesus discussed animals with children, I’m sure we can agree on the sagacity of the three kids quoted at the outset. Jesus ascribed great wisdom to the little children who readily received the truth that he was the One ushering in the kingdom of God’s rule. In essence, he considered children wiser than their parents in certain areas!
Are you tapping into God’s wisdom?
Next week, we will examine how attributing their success to others is another key characteristic of great leaders.
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.