It’s your choice: smart or wise

If you could be known for being either “smart” or “wise,” which would you choose?

The difference might seem subtle, but it’s important – and it matters now more than ever for your job security and career trajectory.

Put simply, smarts get you a right answer. Wisdom gets you the best answer.

Of course, wisdom requires smarts. But moving from smart to wise is the difference between having good information or answers, and knowing what to do with them (how and when to apply them).

The less time and effort you need to spend getting reliable, relevant, and actionable information you need in front of you, the more time and effort you can spend on the latter – and the farther you can go.

Being smart focuses on the right answer or information as the finish line.
Being wise sees those answers or information as the starting line.

So why does this distinction matter so much right now? How can betting on one vs. the other catalyze or combust your career?

Because in a matter of years, we’ll ALL be saying this:

I lost my job because of AI.

But whether that’s a good thing (you’ve been upgraded) or a bad thing (you’ve become redundant) is ours to own.

Consider this:

👉 AI technology shines when there’s a “right answer” or way to do things. Mine for insights, automate a tedious workflow, the list goes on.

👉 LLMs are incredible at getting you an answer – any answer – fast. They’re not (yet) great at sparring, pushing your thinking, or even admitting they need more information or context from you to help generate a better answer. 

👉 But even when they do get better at collecting those inputs to deliver a better output (the “what”), they’ll still lack wisdom (the “why,” “how,” “so what,” or “now what”).

Getting the best answer in order to make the best decision, craft the strongest strategy, build something meaningfully different, or stay hyper competitive?

That requires thinking strategically, considering context (and, often, constraints), asking for clarification, and understanding nuance. 

It involves the magic of connecting dots, not just the hard work of collecting them.

Pre-2023, the career hack was working smarter, not harder.

Here on out, your moat is to 10x that by working wiser, not just smarter.

What’s your take?

PS. If you’re wondering how to upgrade your workflows around all the desk research you’re doing (or skipping…) on competitive, market, landscape, or trends insights, give Wonder a free try or let’s chat!