I recently had a discussion with a young entrepreneur about a meeting he had with some friends and business associates about growing his business. He was saying – and quite pleased with himself too – about how he was the smartest guy in the room at that meeting, and wouldn’t he achieve a lot if that was always the case.
An attitude like this can be a real problem in both start-ups and and established companies. One of the most important things about building and growing a successful company is to build a great team, one that complements your strengths and weaknesses. My entrepreneur friend believed he was the smartest, and was not very interested in listening to others.
He was in the wrong room – he should have been in a room with people smarter than he, and he should spent his time listening, learning and not talking much. Many years ago, Bill Gates was asked what was his best decision that year – he replied “I employed a lot of people who are way smarter than I am.”
Are you the smartest person in the room? If you are, you are in the wrong room. Change rooms, or fill the room with people who are smarter than you, and sit, listen and learn from them. But don’t leave it as it is – it is not the path to success.