Here’s Why Great Leaders Surround Themselves With People Who Are Smarter Than Them

We’ve all likely worked under two types of people – the boss we don’t respect but submit to because they pay our bills – and the leader who inspires us to do more and be more – who we willingly follow.

The truth is, just because someone is in a position of authority does not make them a great leader.

Weak leaders are focused on themselves, while great leaders are focused on others – and depending on who they hire you’ll be able to quickly discern the difference.

A common theme among great leaders is they surround themselves with experts who are smarter than them.

If you’re wondering why, check out an inside look on what every great leader understands.

It’s Not About Them

Great leaders are humble enough to know the world does not revolve around them and their schedules.

To achieve a goal, it’s not a one person job, it takes a team.

But to reach success, a variety of people with unique and different talents must be involved and inspired to use their gifts.

Every great leader knows this, and spends time cultivating staff through personal and professional development to help them reach their potential.

They Are Confident

A weak leader might be worried someone smarter could “take their job” from them, so they deliberately choose to hire those who aren’t as smart.

This is foolish and destructive.

A confident leader knows their abilities and worth, and is not threatened by bringing in others who can help get things done.

Working from a place of confidence, a great leader can trust the team to take on complex projects and contribute to the discussion without having to micromanage.


A great leader has a keen assessment of their own strengths and weaknesses.

If they’re not strong in a particular area (say technology), they’ll pay someone smarter than them to figure it out.

Or maybe staying organized is not their thing – so they’ll bring in a rockstar admin assistant to handle their entire schedule.

By surrounding themselves with people who have experience in areas they don’t, they fill the gap.

Great leaders always bring together a team of folks who have different skills and welcome the challenge of leading them.

It Makes Them Better Leaders

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Iron sharpens iron.

When leaders surround themselves with a talented team of individuals who are all focused on the same goal – it makes everyone better.

Perhaps a “Type A” exec hires a creative genius to help with company marketing –  and this whiz uses their artistic ability to help craft the perfect words and plan to bring the project to life.

Or a “Type B” exec who enjoys going with the flow and taking things as they come hires an operations manager to help build systems and processes for the company to put structures in place.

Bringing together different types of people who think and process differently can help reveal blind spots in a plan or project.

And constantly being surrounded by smart people in turn can make you sharper too!

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