Why being smarter isn't what you need most this week


"In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence."Ben Horowitz

Do you chase knowledge? Do you prep for meetings and fight for every last bit of data before making your decision? Do you plow through reports looking for every possible scrap of information before moving forward? Do you strive to be "the smartest guy" in the room or do you worry about being the "least informed?"

Intelligence is a powerful tool, to be sure, but  we're deceived if we think it's THE most important part of success.

We all know super "smart" people who "wow" others with their brains, but flounder when it comes to making a lasting impact. We see people who have an impressive IQ but lack vision and can't recognize a great opportunity when it hits them in the face.  These are the people who enjoy being right so much they don't have the guts to be vulnerable.

I don't know about you, but it's tempting for me to dismiss my views when it seems others know more facts than I.  When you too feel these doubts creeping in, remember to pause.

Think about the thought above by Ben Horowitz: courage is more important than intelligence.

Horowitz is one of the most respected venture capitalists in Silicon Valley; he invested in little companies like Pinterest, Facebook, Airbnb, and Twitter, and he testifies that our most valuable asset may be the moxie we bring to our jobs - our willingness to be bold and daring.

Think about all courage does for us.  Courage gives us the ability to...

ask, "why are we doing this?"

admit when we don't know something.

be curious, inquisitive, and vulnerable.


And, always, courage gives us the ability to move when the outcome is unclear.

While we may face some intellectual challenges this week, chances are our bravery will be tested more often.  Maybe we should spend less time thinking about our brains, and more time making our hearts brave.