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Too Smart to Be a Good Leader?

Have you noticed this too?

Many very smart people who are outstanding in their field are very poor leaders. I've seen it with doctors, engineers, publishers, scientists, educators, religious leaders, attorneys, and many others.

The subconscious logic seems to go like this: I'm quite intelligent. I studied hard and did well in school. I have advanced degrees. I'm very good at the technical aspects of my profession. Therefore, I must be a good leader.

Unfortunately, this logic misses a vital fact: Leadership is it's own discipline.

Too smart to be a good leader

Esther (an imaginary character invented for this illustration) has her PhD in neuroscience. She's literally a brain surgeon. One dark day a patient decides to sue her because he believes she was negligent during his surgery.

"I'm intelligent, highly educated, and at the top of my field," she thinks to herself. "I don't need an attorney in this case. I'll represent myself." How do you think that would go for her?

Yet that's exactly what very smart people do every day when it comes to leadership. They don't take the time to gain the knowledge and skills to be good at it, somehow assuming that their prior experience and education in their particular field will automatically apply.

How about you? Are you too smart to be a good leader? Or are you intentional about adding to your knowledge and skill set? There are plenty of resources available. Books, seminars, formal education, coaches, and mentors are all ready to help.

What will you do to grow as a leader?

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