I always try to be the dumbest person in the room. Or the team. I have no interest in hiring people who are less intelligent than me. Why?
- If I’m the best at doing something, it makes sense for me to do it. Why pay someone else to handle the task, if I can do better?
- If I’m the dumbest, then I can learn from everyone else. No one is more likely to grow than I am. It’s a great position to be in.
- The true test of mastery is to know how to teach. When I know less than those who work under my charge, it forces them to explain things to me, to teach me. This may be slightly irritating to them at first, but by teaching me, they will be able to grasp nuances that had previously gone unnoticed. Having to explain things to me forces them to re-evaluate and improve their knowledge.
The relationship between master and apprentice isn’t unilateral; it is reciprocal and symbiotic.
If you are the most knowledgeable person in the room, you are in the wrong room.
Painting: “Fools Have the Most Fun” by Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne