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You Should Never Be the Smartest Person in the Room

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This might be a hard pill for some people to swallow, but you should never be the smartest person in the room. I know a lot of you will scrutinize this statement. Some of you will even get defensive after reading it. But I stand by it, and I’m not the only one either.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult career paths to pursue. If it was easy, there would be a lot more entrepreneurs out there. But this isn’t the case. For most people, failure is inescapable. So it’s no surprise that some leaders who make it past their first, fifth, and tenth year of business become egotistical. Entrepreneurial success stories are hard to come by. Except these egos eventually catch up to them and can become problematic. It’s because of their egos that leaders don’t want to hire people that are smarter than them. But some of the most revered entrepreneurs in the world do this.

This is how Michael Dell hires his employees. Same with Mark Zuckerberg. Even Steve Jobs, the face of Apple, knew this. Jobs’ made one of the most profound statements about managing talent when he said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” 

A business might be built on one person’s idea, but it’s sustained by their employees. If billionaires know this to be true, why is this not the standard for hiring at every company across every industry? Great leaders know that success isn’t a one-person show. Growth, sustainability, and profitability are a team effort. Hire people that constantly push boundaries, shatter glass ceilings, and push you outside of your comfort zone.

“If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” – Confucius

Employees aren’t cogs in a machine, they’re your best assets

Elon Musk, renowned for his bold leadership, has always said that a business is only as good as its people, and I agree. Your company is a direct reflection of your employees. Hiring the best of the best will catapult you to the forefront of your industry; hire inexperienced employees that come at a cheaper cost to you and your company will plummet into the ground.

This is often a lesson that many leaders have to learn the hard way. Hiring for quantity over quality may seem enticing because you can pay employees less while also having more hands on deck to focus on day-to-day tasks. But in very few circumstances does ‘quantity over quality’ ever result in favorable circumstances. The same is true in business.

Entrepreneurs must often wear many hats, but they aren’t experts in every facet of their business. In order to have a well-rounded, high-functioning team, you must fill in those gaps by hiring the most qualified employees. Think of it as a business investment. 

Don’t hire people that will always tell you you’re right and follow your every lead. You need people that will check you, help you develop your ideas, and will bring different perspectives to the table. If you let your ego run the show, you bridle innovation and vision.

Keep competition outside of the workplace

In business, competition is the heartbeat of your company. It motivates leaders to strive for the impossible and to work more diligently in pursuit of their goals. But achieving these goals is only possible when you have a qualified team standing beside you.

While a healthy sense of competition among employees is natural, there should never be rivalries disguised in egotism between leaders and employees — yes, it happens far more than you’d think. If a leader is fixated on how they appear in comparison to others, it’s going to interfere with how they delegate projects and create a highly dysfunctional culture. 

A leader likely already knows their strengths, but they must also understand their weaknesses. This self-awareness is critical in making sure they check their ego before work every day. If you’re threatened by the talent of your employees, you end up working against them instead of nurturing a unified workforce that’s working together to build a prosperous company. In other words, you’ll end up getting in your own way of success.

“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.” – Malcolm Forbes

Hire them and let them fly

Entrepreneurs often have a very misconstrued perception of leadership. Great leaders don’t hire employees so that they can tell them what to do, they hire people they can learn from. Your job isn’t to teach an employee everything they need to know to do the job well — they should already come to the table with this expertise. Instead, it’s your responsibility to create an environment that’s conducive to their growth and development.

Your employees shouldn’t need a lesson in ‘Business 101.’ Instead, they just need to be equipped with the resources and acumen that will help them refine their experiences and knowledge so that they can function independently of you. 

Your goal should be hiring people and then letting them fly. This doesn’t undermine your expertise and leadership skills in any way. Great employees simply don’t need your constant attention and support. You don’t have the time for that anyway, as you need to free up your schedule so you can focus on the big-picture responsibilities of running a business.

The business world isn’t a place for ego. You’ll work twice as hard to go half as far if you aren’t willing to hire people that are smarter than you.

What are your thoughts about intentionally not being the smartest person in the room? Share them with us below!

Daren Barone is the Chief Executive Officer at Watkins Environmental, Inc., an Environmental Remediation company. Daren has participated, managed, and performed over 5,000 environmental projects throughout the United States.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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