If you’re the smartest person in the room…

I have a mentor who sends me a motivational quote a couple of times a week and today he dropped this on me:

If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you need to find another room.

I have heard that quote before and actually used it in an opening slide of a talk to make a self deprecating joke.  I get the underlaying meaning of the quote but I think few people would actually admit to thinking that they are the smartest person in the room.

So either the person who wrote this quote was an egomaniac or wasn’t clear in his writing.  Here is what I think he is talking about:


I have an amazing four year old at home who challenges me all the time by asking me questions I don’t know the answer to (Why are bananas yellow?) and asking me questions that make me think about life (Why do we have a house and my friend lives in an apartment?).

To be honest a lot of time I turn into this guy:


One thing my son does everyday is challenges me to think and learn. So after thinking about that quote for a little bit I responded with this:

If  you’re in a room with people who don’t challenge you, then you need to find another room.

Are you being challenged in your personal and professional life or is it time to find another room?

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