The people in your organization who have the largest capacity to add value are not necessarily those who have the best titles or the most impressive educations. Also, they may not be the easiest people to manage.
Here are three do's and don'ts for leading the smartest people in the room:
- Do explain things and persuade them. Don't tell them what to do. Smart people don't take a leader's word at face value; they need to understand why you're asking them to do something.
- Do use your expertise. Don't use your hierarchy. Smart people aren't impressed with titles.
- Do tell them what to do. Don't tell them how to do it. Smart people enjoy figuring out how to do things and will almost rise to the challenge.