Moving from 20th-Century Intelligence to 21st-Century Wisdom

Wisdom = Intelligence + Intention + Instinct

The smarter you are as a leader, the more capable you are of making the right decisions for yourself, your team, and your organization. This mindset got rooted in humankind in the 20th-century and continues to influence the way we educate, train, recruit, evaluate, and reward. High-achievers spend countless hours sharpening their intellect so they can be the smartest person in the room. But the latest science is revealing a humbling truth. New findings in psychology and behavioral economics prove that in fact, smart people are more, not less, at risk of making dumb decisions, especially in today’s fast-changing, disruptive times.

How do we escape from this intelligence trap? I draw from my research at Columbia Business School and Mentora to show how our decisions are driven not simply by our intelligence – but also by our intention and our instinct. Flawed decision-making is often not a function of flawed intelligence, but of flawed intention or instinct. We acquire wisdom when we supplement our intelligence with the right intention and the right instinct.

This keynote talk awakens ambitious, successful professionals to the critical need in these fast-changing times to engage in self-reflection, self-critique, and self-renewal in the humble pursuit of truth. I will present scientific guidelines for optimizing your intention and instinct by learning to operate from your inner core – and the steps you can take to getting there.

The audience will walk away with three learnings:

  1. Why smart people end up making dumb decisions in times of change
  2. The power of your intention and instinct in shaping the quality of your decisions
  3. Steps you can take to optimize your intention and instinct