Leading Your Smartest And Most Creative People

The smartest and most clever people rarely choose to join a team or stay in an organisation (whether in a staff or voluntary position) very long. The reason? Quite simply, they are different.

They bring with them many skills, talents and solutions to your problems but they come with their own set of character traits unique to 'clevers'. If we really do want our organisations to grow and develop then we need to better understand smart people and lead them with the unique approach they both demand and deserve.

Here is a short summary of some do's and don't when leading your smartest and most creative people.


1. DO - Explain

They require more explanation than most and less feedback. They also don't like to be told no and need explanations. This is leadership by conversation.

2. DON'T - Tell them what to do

They're not stupid.

3. DO - Be the expert

They do not respond to hierarchical leadership. They expect you to know what you are talking about - to be an expert in your field. In the end their's no way around it, their respect is gained. This presents us with a great challenge to be e a constant learner.

4. DON'T - Be the boss

They rebel to dictatorial leadership.

5. DO - Give space and resource

They don't require much motivation, they are self motivated.

6. DON'T - Allow them to burn out

You will have to watch them, spend time coaching so they do not burn out.

7. DO - Tell them 'what'

Establish goals and objectives without too many instructions. Explain the vision and negotiate the method.

8. DON'T - Tell them 'how'

Don't make it too easy for them that they switch off before it begins. Listen to their ideas on the method and let them figure it out.