I recently heard someone say, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
I’m not exactly sure how you discern whether you are the smartest person in the room. Seems like pride would keep you comfortable there because you’ve got a leg up on everyone or humility would compel you to see your presence as an equal.
Either way you miss out on the opportunity to be among people who will stretch and grow your thinking to new places.
Putting yourself in environments where you are being challenged mentally and spiritually is essential for your leadership growth. So rather than worrying about whether you’re the smartest person in the wrong, worry about how often you’re in rooms where you clearly are NOT the smartest.
As a leader, you are often in rooms where you have more experience or seniority than others. It’s simply how the hierarchy plays out. You are leading meetings every day with people who challenge you and inspire you in some ways, but they’re likely not rooms of people who introduce you to whole new levels of thought.
You have to purposefully put yourself at tables with individuals who are smarter than you. People who challenge you to think differently. People who keep your mind sharp. People who compel you to come prepared. People who see different possibilities.
Which room are you in?