3.7 min
By: Joseph Bonifacio

When Knowledge Can Make Leaders Dumber

It’s true that leaders need to grow in their knowledge. But is it possible for knowledge to make leaders dumber?

People who don’t know anything are more likely to ask questions. This can lead to answers, and then they’ll know something.

The problem with knowing something is when people confuse it with knowing everything.

People who think they know everything don’t ask anymore. Why would they? They know everything, or at least they think they do.

While none of us would ever say that we “know everything” outright, our actions may say something different. When we don’t ask questions, when we aren’t willing to learn more, when we aren’t open to correction—that’s what we’re saying. “Why should I learn that? I know everything.” Or at the very least we’re saying, “I don’t need to learn that.” Famous last words.

We are saying “I know everything” when . . .

  • . . . we can’t listen to people younger than us—because, what do they know, right? We’re actually losing a chance to learn.
  • . . . people correct us and we respond angrily. Why are we angry? Are we surprised to find out that we aren’t perfect?
  • . . . we have a natural ability in a certain area and become prone to the temptation to slack off. People with the discipline to keep learning will always outpace those without.
  • . . . we are not open to new experiences and lessons and prefer to stick to stock knowledge. Can we admit that maybe our perception of something isn’t the sum total of that thing?
  • . . . we diss a certain culture we’ve never visited or interacted with at length. To the listener, it feels like the intellectual equivalent of a kid sticking his fingers in his ears and talking louder.
  • . . . we write off a person as a certain “type” and won’t choose to connect with them. I almost missed out on a very close friend that way. Good thing God and other people cut through my pig-headedness.
  • . . . we dismiss an encounter with God because of our experiences in the past. Some people have negative memories, so they think God can’t possibly have anything good for them now. Others have “done that church thing” already and foolishly assume He has no more wonders ahead.

All of these are different ways that knowing something can make us dumber. Don’t make that mistake. The world is huge! Every person has a story to tell. God can do things we’ve never even seen. It’s better to know nothing but Him and enjoy the ride.

We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

1 Corinthians 8:1 (NIV 1984)

About the author
Joseph Bonifacio

Joseph Bonifacio is the director of Every Nation Campus Philippines and a lead pastor with Victory Katipunan. When he isn’t working in the campus or doing life with students, you can find him at home or in an adventure with his wife, Carla, and their two sons, Philip and Manu. Joe, as most people call him, admits that his hair (or lack of) never distracts him, but that the thought of a chocolate chip cookie almost always does.

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