The Blog - Where Business Collides with Human Nature

Killing Clever

If only someone had told me: "Don't be so clever" when I was a young smart mouth.  While the ultimate goal was to make people smile, my antics and craziness did not always prove to be truly helpful. (Sometimes I was not as clever or funny as I thought.)

The battle continues as my creative brain looks for ways to make people smile and feel great about the day and the opportunities that exist.  Quite a few years ago, I mostly killed 'clever' and I began to prioritize 'commitment' which is a necessary component to getting things done. 

Every year I am reminded of why this is a good thing.  This weekend is one such time.

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces and a reminder of those who are committed to protecting the way we live and more importantly the right to follow our own beliefs.

If you had the choice of working side by side with someone who is clever or committed, which would it be? "You are so clever, I can trust you more."  Nope, that doesn't sound like what you would say or expect to hear.

Who is the person you believe will stand by your side and sacrifice themselves when necessary?  The person who appears clever... or committed?

Is a clever person who uses jests, jokes, quips, humor, hype and pokes to get attention also perceived as committed?  Those clever comments can become distractions.  They laugh and nod and forget for a moment about purpose.

There is such a short period of time for someone to get a sense about what another person stands for; choosing to be clever over committed will create smiles but not partners.

If it is your talent and desire to create smiles and have no further expectations, maximizing 'clever' is a good way to go.

If you are thinking that you need more partners, advocates, ambassadors, affiliates and followers; think 'commitment'.  (You may think this is boring but there is a shortage of people with serious commitment.)

Proving that you are committed is tough because it may require sacrifice and consistent actions over many months. 

Clever is usually less work and can offer immediate results but commitment is how you capture the respect and cooperation of others.   If you have the talent and skill to balance them both to make people smile AND stay productive; you have a fan.  (me)


Topics: Paradigm Deep Thoughts Leadership