What the smartest guy in the room does

A stupid person can make only certain, limited types of errors; the mistakes open to a clever fellow are far broader. But to the one who knows how smart he is compared to everyone else, the possibilities for true idiocy are boundless.  (Steven Brust)

The smartest guy in the room

Frank was a legend. Phil was a legend in his own mind.

Phil gave off an odor of conceit.  He would condescend to help others.  He had very important things to do. He promoted himself all the time. We got tired of hearing him talk about another project he finished.  That boy could talk, as long as the subject was himself.

Frank entered a room of 20 people and the collective IQ doubled.  He listened.  Frank tended to migrate towards the leaders and managers.  They also migrated towards him.  He talked and mingled happily with the rest of us.  He was friendly and helpful.  Frank used persuasion and experience to sway others.  He also told his bosses in private, on paper and in emails of what he had suggested, whom he helped and what he accomplished.  In other words he reported back on everything to his leaders.  He got credit where it counted.

Frank even got credit for helping me, a peon.  He kept track.  He let his boss know how many hours he spent helping others.  He kept track of the projects he assisted.  He reported it.

Phil bragged, strutted and annoyed.  Frank helped, improved, reported and got credit.

Are you Phil or Frank?  Or are you just afraid to let people know how much you do?  A lot of people know a Phil.  They don’t want to be a self centered, conceited, bragging laughing stock.  So they hide what they do.  They don’t become a Frank.  Frank was well respected by all.  He helped and accomplished, and got credit for it where it counts.

Report back to your boss.  Keep a job journal.  Know and show what you do.

Something to do today

Give your manager a report each week of all the things you get done.  He may not really know how useful you are.


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