Image by: Mike Peel
By George Lamb
Now, there’s a drastic difference between being the smartest person in the room, and seeming to be the smartest person in the room. And seeing as it will be physically impossible for me to raise your IQ with a fifteen minute read, bear with me as I express a few things you can do that can make you seem smarter.
Yea I know what you’re thinking—why possibly would I want to seem smarter and not be smarter? Well, when it comes to being the head of the business, believe it or not smarts isn’t the most important trait, leadership and innovation is. What leaders do is come up with ideas, set the foundation, and hire the “smart” guys to do all the dirty work for them.
Now, would you rather be one of the smart guys serving as a minion for the company, or the daring, average intellect boss that calls the shots and reaps the benefits? The latter sounds much more appealing. Another thing this boss is good at is seeming smarter then everybody around him—which is one major reason that he’s in charge in the first place. Here are 3 ways you can become the smartest person in the room—or seem like it at least…
#1) Ask Questions
One of the most important things to honing a persons’ innovative skills and advancing from amateur to professional is the simple act of asking questions. Yea, plain old questions… Doesn’t have to be the smartest question in the universe, either. In fact, the dumber the questions you ask, the better. Smart or obvious questions are often times answered by common sense, but if you ask completely off the wall questions—to yourself and your peers—then you will be actively exercising your and everybody else’s brain at a level that couldn’t be matched by simple questions.
For example, perhaps you own a pizza shop and you and your crew are having a discussion over ways to make more creative pizzas to attract customers. Imagine 9 out of 10 people in that meeting being asked to come up with their own recipe to put on the menu.
You could probably guess that most of them would give the morally correct ingredients like various meats, cheeses and seasonings, but imagine that one “idiot” who stands up and says emphatically, “What if we tried pineapple pizza! Will that work!?”
Yea, that may have seemed like an idiotic question at the time, but whoever or wherever that idiot is I want to thank him. Because pineapple pizza just now happens to be one of the greatest foods on the planet.
#2) Study Things You Don’t Know
You may have started your company with a groundbreaking, innovative idea, but as you sink deeper and deeper into your niche, there comes times when research has to be done and knowledge has to be expanded. Of course it is possible to hire people to fulfill different tasks that you have no experience handling, but if you want to come off as the smartest guy around, fulfilling certain tasks on your own may drive that home.
You may be an expert at managing the company’s finances, but breaking out of your specialty once in a while and learning how to manage the company’s website, or learning how to expand the marketing campaign will do nothing but make you smarter and more well-versed.
This is especially good for leaders of organizations, as having your finger dipped in all levels of the company will improve your image and make you seem more interactive in the eyes of your colleagues. This will inevitably lead to more production in the workplace as people will likely adopt the drive to emulate your performance.
#3) Dedicate Time to Thinking
Focused quiet time with little to no influences dictating your train of thought is absolutely necessary for any person who aspires for success. Innovation requires deduction, reasoning and problem solving. If you find yourself surrounded by distractions at all hours of the day—colleagues at work, wife your kids at home, perhaps—then you’ll notice your innovative abilities start to tumble until they become non-existent.
Scheduling yourself designated thinking times throughout the week will keep your mind sharp, objective, and flexible. Look at it as an investment into creativity or even an exercise for the brain. If you sit in a dark room, loosen your tie, kickback and just think for a half an hour, you will have a much better chance of tapping into that creative aura then in a bustling work place or home life.
Have you successfully claimed the title as smartest person in the room at your workplace? We know how much you’d like to gloat about it, so how about going ahead and telling us all about how you managed that in the comments section below.