When Thomas Watson Sr. began to run the Computing-Tabulating-Recording company in 1914, he had a serious problem. The business had been created by combining three different companies in New York, Washington, DC, and Ohio. Separated by geography, there was no unifying corporate structure or culture. Watson almost immediately adopted a motto he had originated at his former employer.
He had arrived at a meeting of sales managers and they were casting about for new ideas to increase sales. No one had any. Frustrated, Watson gave them all a good verbal lashing saying, “The trouble with every one of us is that we don’t think enough. Knowledge is the result of thought, and thought is the keynote of success in this business or any business.” He ordered that the word “THINK” be printed on a placard at the front of that room and it became the company slogan.
At least eight times in the Proverbs, the wise man calls on his reader to “think.” It’s often translated by the word “prudent.”
When insulted, a fool will respond immediately. A thinking person may overlook the insult. My mother would say: “Consider the source and move on.” The thinking (prudent) person does research and acts on the best knowledge at hand. The fool just acts (13:16). The fool wants people to think he knows what he is doing. The thinking person wants to know what he is doing (14:8). The simple person will believe anything. The prudent person checks out the facts (14:15). The fool sees danger and keeps going. The thinking person takes cover (22:3).
Slow down. Read the directions. Consider your options. Think. Those are the actions of the prudent – another word, incidently, for “wise.”