Ways smart people undermine their success

Ways smart people undermine their success

At most jobs, you need more than raw intelligence to get ahead. And if smarts is your strength, only focusing on your greatest strength, rather than also addressing your weaknesses, tends to be self-sabotaging.

When intellectually gifted people don't achieve as much as they'd like to, it's because they're subtly undermining themselves. Here are five things brilliant people somethings struggle with:

1. Devaluing other skills, like relationship building. Brilliant people sometimes see their success as inevitable because of their intellect and don't see other skills as necessary. For example, an individual who finds workplace diplomacy difficult might write this off as an irritation rather than as a core skill required for their role.

2. Lack of delegating. Smart people also sometimes find it difficult to delegate because of a sense they can do a task better (regardless of whether this is true.) This is especially likely for those who have a perfectionist streak.

3. Attach a lot of self-esteem to being smart. If a lot of your self-esteem rests on your intelligence, it can be tough to work with people who are even more skilled or intelligent, receiving critical feedback, or taking a risk and failing.

4. Smart people get bored easily. If you're smart, curious, and have a love of learning, you might find you quickly lose interest in anything once you've figured it out. The execution side of performance might bore you, and you'd rather always be learning new things.

5. Seeing in-depth thinking and reflection as the solution to every problem. The very smart person might attack every situation by trying to think it to death (over-researching every decision and ruminating over every mistake) when other approaches would be more fruitful.

Inspired by: Harvard Business Review - 5 Ways Smart People Sabotage Their Success, by Alice Boyes