collaboration, corporate collaboration, workplace collaboration, teamwork blog

Don’t Be the Smartest Person in the Room

You may have heard the quote, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you better find another room.” I completely agree with this concept. If you are the smartest one in the room, there’s no way to push or stretch yourself. Also, it removes some humility, which is essential to learning.

I commonly refer to my days playing hockey. In my second year of college, I attended a training camp in Minnesota that had a mix of junior, semi-pro, and NHL players. The experience of sharing the ice with them made my game explode. I was motivated and pushed in ways I hadn’t experienced before.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is going to be crucial to your own growth because it helps with accountability. Find those that will intellectually challenge you. It will help if you’re open to feedback and criticism because the right people will provide it. If you’re not open to change, you will not learn the intended lesson.

A valuable type of associate is an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t guarantee that you have a great idea and will immediately find success. In fact, this type has faced failure numerous times. Yet, the only way that a true entrepreneur fails is when they stop moving forward. The wealth of knowledge gained from a successful entrepreneur will educate you on what has worked and what hasn’t based on their experiences.

I’d advise a level of proximity with your brain trust. Efficiency is truly gained when you can meet someone face-to-face and get a read on their passion. This is nearly impossible to do over a phone call. As a resort, video conferences work, and sometimes are the only option. Meetings in groups in this setting can provide powerful benefits, if there is intent for problem solving behind it.

If your intention is to build your wealth and you want to optimize your standing as an individual, then working with others will be paramount. Learning from those around you will be a valuable part of your success. I can’t recall anyone that achieved massive success that has not been part of a brainstorming group. The truly smart people in the room are the ones that realize that they have just as much to learn from you, as you do from them.

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