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Leadership Isn't About Being the Smartest

November 21st, 2019

Steve Jobs quote

Great leaders are not the smartest person in the room. They couldn't be. No one is an expert on everything.

The greatest leaders are the wisest in the room.

These leaders, writes author and leadership guru Gifford Thomas, "Llisten to their teams, ask the right questions, and give everyone the chance to contribute.

"They admit when they're wrong and genuinely want to learn from others."

In his short, yet powerful LinkedIn post, Gifford points to successful leaders like Lee Iacocca, Duke Energy's CEO Lynn Good and Steve Jobs, all of whom rejected the outdated and ultimately unproductive notion that a leader must be all-knowing. As Iacocca famously observed, "I hire people brighter than me and get out of their way."

Gifford references Apple's founder and former CEO Jobs, whose comment about hiring smart people has been so widely quoted it's become a meme: "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."

"Great leaders," Gifford concludes, "Know that their team is the backbone of the company and any success the organization achieves comes from their employees love of the company, the belief in the vision and a strong attachment to the company purpose."

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