Be Smart and Encourage Smartness
Not long ago, someone posted the following quote on social media – “Try to never be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people . . . or find a different room.” In my research I discovered that the quote, or variations of it, has been attributed to numerous people and often used in leadership strategies. While I have seldom been the smartest person in a room, I suggest there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t act like it. Allow others to be smart as well, and in fact, help them be smart. I could cite numerous examples. One will suffice. When my Dad was pastor of a rather large east Texas church, he realized that older women were no longer attending. The reason was they had difficulty negotiating the high, steep steps at the front of the sanctuary. Likewise, every other entrance, had high steps. While my Dad knew the church needed an elevator, he never suggested it in church meetings . Rather, he brought it up with church leaders over coffee and in similar non-formal situations. One night in a deacon meeting, a man said, “I’ve been noticing the absence of some of our elderly members, due to the high steps, and I propose we install an elevator.” My Dad’s response was, “Good idea.” While he was the smartest in the group, he allowed others to have the smart ideas. Jesus said, “he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves” (Luke 22:26). Be smart. Encourage smartness in others.