Why the smartest people aren’t always the most successful

The smartest people aren’t always the most successful.

If others with less skills, experience or talent are achieving more than you – read this thread to learn why and what to do about it. 

[The Intelligence Paradox]

I’ve coached some of the most intelligent founders, leaders and high performers in the world and what I find fascinating is…

..they get in their own way a lot more than the average bear.

Generally, the smarter the person, the more mind drama they experience holding them back.

If this is you, the smarter you are the more you:

  • Feel impostor syndrome because the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know (wisdom)
  • Wonder “who am I to _______”  (doubt)
  • Overthink and second guess yourself and the plan, because your brain is able to anticipate different scenarios and assess downside 
  • Let perfectionism slow you down because your quality bar is very high (your floor is their ceiling)

(It’s not your fault)

The antidote? 

  • Focus on the impact your work has and the people who need it vs it meaning something about you (depersonalize)
  • Bias towards action, once you set direction commit to a certain amount of time that you have to execute without changing direction (min 90 days)
  • Establish a definition of done before you start – something that’s good enough, and let your market decide quality (iterate)

Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, you just need to master your mind and learn to manage your talent, to get the best out of yourself.

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