How many of you have heard “You want to hire people smarter than you” or “Don’t be the smartest person in the room”? Most of us have. What does it really mean?

Being the smartest person in the room is about NEEDING to be the smartest person in the room. It is the need to ALWAYS be right. Usually it’s a result of someone with a big ego and an inferiority complex. These two characteristics seem contradictory, but they can exist in the same person.

The issue sometimes happens when someone is really smart in one area and therefore think they are smart in all areas. Another common way for this to show up is based on status or position. It sounds like this “Since I’m your boss, I am smarter than you. So, shut up and do what I say”. Don’t be that person.

As an entrepreneur, you are smart in a specific area. Your team should be smart in other areas. Some ways to avoid “the smartest person in the room” issue are:

  1. Don’t think and feel you always have to be right. Who wants to live under that kind of pressure?
  2. Surround yourself with smart people you respect.
  3. Hire people that are book smart, people smart and street smart. They should have at least one of these characteristics.
  4. Be humble.
  5. Listen.

In order to avoid being the “smartest person in the room”, check your ego at the door, be vigilant, let the team drive some decisions and get everyone at the meeting to contribute something.

Are you doing the right things but not seeing the results? Schedule a free 30-minute Clarity call.

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