Too Smart for Our Own Good?

Dear Smart People,

Smart People Think They’re Right, but the Most Effective Entrepreneurs Assume They’re Wrong, by Jeff Haden is definitely worth the read – and not just for entrepreneurs. If you are not an entrepreneur, don’t let the title make you think this doesn’t apply to you. Leaders, teachers, students, preachers, politicians, parents, doctors, counselors, husbands, wives, whomever…you could all benefit from having a mindset that is willing to consider you might be wrong. More importantly, though, people who experience your willingness to be wrong would benefit by your adoption of this mindset.

If you are not willing to consider you may be wrong, you are too smart for our own good.

Greatest Strength = Greatest Weakness

As stated in the article, research by Dave Robson (The Intelligence Trap) shows the smarter people are, the less likely they are to consider their own flawed thinking. This is a great example of “your greatest strength is your greatest weakness.” Until now, I’ve always used “being organized” as an example of this. If someone is highly organized (a strength), they may also be highly inflexible (a weakness).

Also referenced in the article is a 2018 study that shows people with high SAT scores are less likely to analyze their mistakes. This is so enlightening!

So, to all the smart people out there. Are you willing to:

  • ask yourself why you are right?
  • consider information, experience, knowledge or expertise someone else may have to offer?
  • look for flaws in your own thinking?
  • ask others to look for flaws in your own thinking?
  • be comfortable enough in your own skin to admit you might be wrong?
  • not be threatened by the possibility of being wrong?

If not, then you are too smart or our own good…and that is not good.

If so, the rest of us will be very grateful!

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