“If you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” -Richard Tirendi
TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about the company we keep and the people that influence us. There is a sentiment that we should strive to be the smartest person in the room. That this is a worthy goal to aspire to. That, somehow, if we are the “smartest” or “best” in the room, we will be able to exert influence or hold power over those around us. And thus, we will be successful. This is a dangerous myth! As the opening quote states, if you are the smartest person in the room, turn around, exit the room, and run – as fast as possible – in the opposite direction!
I’m often asked if this advice should be applied to professional relationships, or personal ones as well. In my opinion, you should apply this advice in its most general form: find people that will challenge and encourage you to grow. Find groups that will contribute to your proficiency and petitions. Avoid the fallacy of superiority – which is seeded in insecurity – by denying the need to be the smartest in the group. Instead, look to develop yourself by surrounding yourself with thoughtful and creative characters.
When it comes to coworkers, Donny Deutsch surmised it best: “my philosophy is to always find the smartest people you can. Hire people smarter than you.” The idea here is simple – but of utmost importance – you must surround yourself with colleagues and coworkers of the highest caliber possible. Whether you are in a small business or a large organization, collaborations should always have you reaching up! The simplest path to this growth is by surrounding yourself with those that have varied vantage points and see problems differently than you.
Why is this so important? The answer: “the people that you have around you are your biggest influence” (RJ Mitte). Since you are a running average of the people you most interact with, you need to be cognizant of who these people and groups are. If “leadership is influence” (John C. Maxwell), seek to be influenced by the best, and you will find yourself in good company.
MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out one of our recent publications, Acanthamoeba endophthalmitis after recurrent keratitis and nodular scleritis. Acanthamoeba species are ubiquitous free-living protozoa and are usually responsible for corneal disease. We present the first case with confirmed involvement of Acanthamoeba in all ocular layers, including choroidal involvement.
Thank you Retinal Cases & Brief Reports for publishing our case! Check out the study here.
GRATIS: “Follow those who are seeking the truth, but run away from those who have found it.” Goethe
My best to you,