“If you’re the smartest person in your group, you need to get a new group.”
~Pastor Josey at K-LOVE
It’s nice to work around smart people! It’s even better when they share their “smarts” with everyone else.
I don’t think Josey was saying you should necessarily leave where you’re working, but rather that you need to find yourself a group where you’re not the smartest person. Didn’t your mom or dad tell you to watch out who you hang around with?
The propensity to want to be seen as the smartest person in the room is pretty common. It springs from a lack of self-confidence, causing you to position yourself, and everyone else, in a way that makes you look good. We probably all do it in some circumstances, but some have to do it all the time. It then becomes obvious to those around them and begins to work against them, which is too bad.
I have an alternate strategy. As I said to the CMAA conference in Australia recently, I look for really smart people and stand next to them. If you do that often enough, you’re going to become a lot smarter. In fact, the conference was full of so many smart people that I wondered if I belonged there.
So there is a choice of strategies. One makes you look smart, and the other makes you smart. Your choice.
P.S. Josey also advised us to “reject smallness and make room for more bigger people.”