I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts when I heard the guest say, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.” And that started me thinking about a few things, like who I choose to spend time with and why.
The person who said that line was a successful entrepreneur. He said that he always wanted to be around people who were smarter than he was so he could learn from them. But he knew even if he wasn’t the smartest, he still had something he could contribute – his ideas, personality, and even his ability to listen. He wanted to be with the smartest people in the room, so he had a better chance of learning as much as he needed to.
I like being the smartest person in the room…sometimes. But the more I thought about what he said, the more I realized how much I learned when I wasn’t the smartest. Plus, just thinking I was the smartest person in the room didn’t make it true! And it probably stopped me from learning even more because I had a bad attitude going in. Think about that – I thought I was the smartest person so I wasn’t ready to learn what someone else could teach me and there could have been amazing knowledge just dropping on me from everywhere!
So now I go into almost any meeting, group, or classroom (even when I’m the one teaching) and I think, “There are people here who are smarter than me. What one thing will I take away from meeting them?” It keeps my mind open to learning from anyone and everyone in the room. Because if you think about it, isn’t everyone smarter than us in at least one area?
The reverse of that is true as well, “What am I the smartest in that I can share with other people.” This way it’s not all take, take, take from others – I’m thinking about what I can give or add to them as well. Sometimes I have a lot to give and other times not so much, but I’m comfortable in any setting.
I like the idea of being in the right room – the one where I am not the smartest.
What about you? What areas are you smart in and who do you want to learn from? What smart people are you going to surround yourself with so you can learn?
I’d love to hear from you so please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Thanks for reading! Make it a great day!