Leaders Shouldn't Be the Smartest People in the Room
by Alex Charfen
I don't know about you, but I never want to be the smartest person in the room.
You know – that one person who dominates meetings or conversations with an overwhelming, showy display of their expertise. “That guy.”
I say this now, but for a significant portion of my career, I thought that's who I needed to be to succeed.
It took me years to realize how wrong I was, but it finally dawned on me that I didn't want to be the smartest person in the room.
Instead, I wanted to start a movement. And to do that, I had to be a leader.
Here's my thinking behind that thought…
True leaders aren't concerned with being the smartest person in the room.
For one – they know how to listen to others in the room and get everyone to work together.
Two – they understand how to help each member of their team contribute so that everyone can work in their strengths.
When I realized these things and finally admitted to myself and others that I didn't have all the answers, my entire outlook changed.
For example, when I was a consultant – I started focusing on identifying other people's strengths, and my business grew exponentially. I was continuously put in front of bigger clients, and my meetings became more productive.
So take it from me and stop worrying about being the smartest person in the room. It's not who you want to be.
You need team members that are more capable than you in specific areas.
Not to mention that it's counterproductive to let ego get in the way of learning something new.
Now I realize this is easier said than done…
As entrepreneurs, it's difficult for us to rely on others.
Sometimes it feels nearly impossible, for numerous reasons.
Maybe we're afraid of looking weak or incompetent. Or we feel like it's our job to have all the answers.
But when we're arrogant about our abilities, it creates blind spots in our businesses that hold us back from succeeding.
So if you want to become the leader your business needs, realize that you won't be the smartest person in the room. You may be the most intelligent person leaving the room, but that's a different story.
P.S. If you want to learn more about leadership qualities, make sure to listen to the Momentum Podcast.