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16 August 2005

Dear F@W
I work in an organization where I am clearly the smartest person around. Not only do I frequently come up with new ideas, but I also make them happen. My boss loves everything I do, but what do I get in return? Nothing except people dragging their feet, or trying to compete with me. The problem is that I cannot do everything myself (although I would if I could). How do I deal with the idiots that work with me? Should I try to get them fired, or look for another job?

–Melinda, Arlington, Texas

Dear Melinda,
Being the smartest person around has its advantages, but it also has its share of disadvantages. For example, it can cause others to want to compete with you. When they do, bear in mind that you achieve nothing by outdoing them. If anything, this breeds resentment, and often leads to people plotting your demise. It is far more important to make others feel that they are as valuable and respectable as you are. You can accomplish this by constantly downplaying your own contribution, and giving your colleagues the credit for a job well done whenever possible. When you give others credit, people will not overlook how smart you are. Instead, they will be happy to have you on their team, and your long term success will be enhanced.


 
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