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Never act like the smartest person in the room

Sometimes it pays to shut up! Especially when you are really smart.

As a bright and capable performer, you will have plenty of opportunities to show what you know and how you know it but one thing you can never do is – show off! People in power don’t like it and people you work with find it annoying.

Smart people who know when to speak up and when to act on their initiatives are a special breed. Don’t squander your opportunities by showing off. Let your cool demeanor speak for you.


John Baldoni is chair of the leadership development practice at N2Growth, a global leadership consultancy, as well as an internationally recognized leadership educator, executive coach, author and speaker. In 2010, Top Leadership Gurus named John one of the world’s top 25 leadership experts. His books include “Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up.” Readers are welcome to visit Baldoni’s website.