Sunday, September 28, 2008

Working With Smart People Makes a Big Difference

We see this phenomenon all the time: In athletics, in business, in any competitive endeavor. Working with people who are more talented than you always motivates you to raise your performance. Conversely, working with people who are less talented than you allows you to be complacent, lazy, to not perform at your highest level.

Now that I've worked at MIT for just one week, this notion has become crystal clear. Comparing the business acumen, management skills, intellectual ability and integrity of the managers with whom I worked in several of my previous positions against those of my current supervisors, it's obvious why some organizations succeed and others founder.

Good leadership, intelligence and integrity always lead to success. Poor leaders and managers focus on their own egos and seek to aggrandize themselves at the cost of the success of the organizations they lead.

They fool themselves into believing that the choices they make are the best for their respective organizations. They may listen to others but believe so fervently in their infallibility that they callously dismiss opinions from staff that may very well help their organizations.

When you work with talented leaders who motivate and inspire you to raise your performance, you know your opinions will at least be considered seriously, if not adopted--for the good of the organization. That's the type of environment in which I currently work, and boy, did I miss it.

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