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Success Advice

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.

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Success Advice

Mastering Self-Management for Success: Lessons From Peter F. Drucker

With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success.



Peter f drucker lessons
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In today’s dynamic professional world, self-management has become increasingly important. With careers no longer following a straight, predictable path, self-awareness and adaptability are essential for success. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Ignite the Spark Within for Future Success

All of us come to this world with our own reserve of magic unfortunately, not everyone can unleash it



Igniting your spark
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What is it that makes some people great leaders while others remain followers? What magic do they have that others don’t? What special blessing gives them the power to bring significant change?  (more…)

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Success Advice

How Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success

Your life is dictated by beliefs and biases that drive your thinking, behaviors, and decisions



Your Beliefs Can Supercharge or Sabotage Your Success (1)
Image Credit: Midjourney

Pause for a moment and ponder two pandemic-era beliefs: First, closing schools will control the spread of a serious virus. Second, the consequences of such school closures—particularly social interruption and the prevention of immunity—are worse than becoming sick with the virus. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Break the Cycles of Mediocrity and Manifest Your Greatness

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity



Image Credit: Midjourney

In just a few weeks, we will be wrapping up 2023. Can you believe it? This year has been absolutely incredible for me.

I have seen amazing doors opened, new relationships formed and I am seeing dreams realized in my life. While this seems like the hallmarks of a great year, this has also been the most challenging year of my life. With all of the change happening in my life, I have been forced out of my comfort zone and challenged to grow in every area of my life.

I can truly say that I have made the most of my moments this year and I have used everything as a catalyst for maximizing my greatest potential.

As a revolutionary leader, I have the pleasure of consulting and advising leaders around the world to fulfill purpose, realize their greatest potential and make an impact.

I want to share some insights with you that will help you to break cycles of mediocrity and manifest your greatness

Everything legal must come through the matrix

I am sure that some of you are wondering why I am using the term matrix. However, what you have to understand is that I am trying to make a highly complex spiritual principle practical to understand.

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, every life has an origin and I believe that origin is divine and begins with eternity. You are birthed from eternity and into time to fulfill a unique purpose and assignment in your lifetime and generation.

The matrix is simply the portal or vehicle that brings something out of the invisible realm and into tangible form. The problem with much of the teaching today is that it excludes the matrix. We are told to believe that success is instantaneous and overnight.

Nobody talks about how a dream progresses through stages beginning with visualization and ultimately culminating in manifestation. Without a matrix or portal then everything that you attempt to birth and build will be illegal.

The matrix not only makes you legal but it gives you the authority and power to function as the greatest expression of who you were created to be. 

Every matrix has an incubation process

While many people admire and respect me today, I remember a time when nobody knew who I was or the significance of my message. How did I get to where I am today? I got here through an incubation process.

In other words, everything that has been destined for your life is incubating and awaiting a set time of manifestation. The problem is that most people live their entire lives idle and never initiate the incubation process.

What do I meany by that? Most people are living reckless and very few people are living intentionally. I am amazed at the number of people I have conversations with that have no vision, goals or strategies for their lives. They show great promise and they have undeniable potential.

However, without development they will die with their dreams still in them.

Everything that has been destined for your life must be incubated and converted to become realities born to time. 

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build.” – Robert Collier

You must give expression to that which is not yet born to time

When you think about a matrix or a prophetic incubation process, you have to understand that potential is often unrealized and untapped. In other words, your potential is in raw form and your potential cannot serve you as long as it is untapped.

The thing that makes me valuable is that I have the ability to convert potential into power. I have done it in my own life and I have empowered leaders around the world to do the same. How do you convert potential into power?

First, it is important to note that you have to perceive potential. If you cannot perceive your potential then you can never cultivate your potential. In addition, you must take the time to cultivate your potential. We often get excited about our capabilities; however, we never expand our capacity in order to realize our greatest potential.

In other words, the strength of your potential is only discovered through your willingness to stretch. The more we are challenged the more we are empowered to expand our capacity for greatness. Most of all, you must begin to express your potential. The expression of potential is different for every person.

For example, the expression of my potential is best demonstrated through the thoughts, ideas, products, services, books, etc.

For another person the expression of potential may look like a screenplay, artwork, sports, scientific discoveries, medical breakthroughs, etc.

Regardless of the form of expression, I know that you will live empty and unfulfilled until you make the decision to express your potential. The expression of your potential gives voice to your dreams, life to your vision, significance to your moments and activates your true power.

You must manifest your greatness

As a revolutionary thinker and leader, my work has impacted people around the world. I am grateful that my life is a source of empowerment to so many people. However, before anyone could ever benefit from my life, I had to make a non-negotiable decision to become who I was born to be.

I wish I could tell you that this journey is easy and that you will get there overnight. However, in a world that celebrates us for doing we are often criticized for being. As a result, I wasted a lot of time trying to be who other people wanted me to be instead of being who I was born to be.

There is no greatness without becoming and there is no becoming with authenticity. It is through our bravery to be vulnerable that we ultimately manifest our greatness. We do not bless the world by being a duplicate. We bless the world when we honor our difference. When you honor your difference you honor your potential.

Ultimately, your difference is how you manifest your greatness.

When you present anything but your authentic self to the world, you are playing small and you are robbing the world of your significance. Manifesting your greatness requires you to master your gifts.

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