Old school thinking says that wisdom comes with age. Given my age, I am on the cusp of being able to comment on the premise. From my experience, age provides the opportunities to learn, see, and experience. Wisdom can come from those things, but it is not a given. Additionally, wisdom comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
I sat with a young professional. She was enthusiastic about the potential of applying her business insights. She thought she could make a difference. She has a belief. She wants to work and win. She wants to be noticed and appreciated. She is seriously intentional.
There are other observations that come with it. She does not understand the industry she is in and she knows this. She is not sure if her insights are valid and she tells you this upfront. She is eager, apparently unaware of the power good ideas have on others.
We sat over a coffee talking about the opportunities for her to engage. I could see echoes of myself in her approach. I wondered if my innocence and ignorance was as obvious as it was with her. Yes, as I listened I realized that there was a thread of innovative ideas within her insight. While I am not sure her peers and manager are listening, I do know that we have an opportunity to leverage what she has to offer.
I am trying not to fall into old school thinking. She may, for many different kinds of reasons, be holding a key to making a difference. If we miss it, we lose even more than she does.
There is an alternative model to traditional thinking. Paul, an old wisdom father, modeled it well when he recognized the power from the insight others brought to the table. The record reflects this awareness. “While the cargo was being unloaded, we looked up the local disciples and stayed with them seven days. Their message to Paul, from insight given by the Spirit, was ‘Don’t go to Jerusalem.’” (Acts 21.4)
Truth can come from everywhere at anytime.