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Make Yourself the Dumbest Person in the Room

By Kathleen Montecillo


We know it sounds crazy, stupid even. But a lot of good comes from surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you  —  effectively making you the dumbest. There’s lots of pressure to know it all in business, or to pretend to know it all when we don’t. We forget that not knowing everything is good. And letting others teach and challenge us? Even better. Here are the best things that happen when you make sure you’re the dumbest person in your circle.

You’ll be surrounded by people who know things you don’t.

Not knowing about things that others are experts on can be uncomfortable. It can be tempting to pretend like we know what someone is talking about when we’re actually clueless. But it’s OK not to know everything. Surrounding yourself with people who know more than you lets their knowledge compensate for areas you’re weak in. So play to your weaknesses. Seek out people who know stuff you don’t, even if it’s intimidating.

You’ll push yourself.

Have you ever walked away from a great conversation with someone feeling reenergized and just better? That’s what happens when you hang with smart people. They push you to be better when you’re around them. It’s inevitable and really effective. You know what “they” say: We become like the people we surround ourselves with. So choose those people carefully. Pick the ones who challenge you to think harder and more creatively.

You’ll become a student.

Being around people who have something to teach you constantly puts you in a position to learn. And being a student is a valuable position to be in. Everyone has something they can learn from others. So grab every opportunity you can, especially when it comes to subjects you’re not familiar with. Making yourself the dumb one in the room ensures you’re always learning, and that’s what success is made of.

You’ll stay humble.

Running with a crowd of people who are smarter than you keeps you humble. And it’s no secret that humility is a lovable quality. Someone able to admit their weaknesses and how others might know more than them  —  that’s a person who will be respected and trusted. The first step to becoming a leader people will follow? Admit that you’re human and stay humble as hell.

How do you surround yourself with people smarter than you? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @moproteam. And if you liked this article, share it! We appreciate the love.