Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No One Is As Smart As I Am … I Think

I was sifting through a complex to-do list today, mostly around strategy initiatives that some individuals were NOT embracing as they should and I thought “Surely with all the knowledge that we have access to in the world, people can’t be making the same common business mistakes repeatedly. In fact, I’m sure Dr. Seuss could have explained how to employ strategy in a way that anyone could understand it”.

Then the light came on – I would write a cute little ditty under the guise of “strategy as explained by Dr. Seuss”.

Feeling quite content with myself, I thought “Maybe I should take a look around on the web to make sure someone else hadn’t already done it”.

And I stumbled upon this brilliant little piece:

A Common Seuss Approach to Strategy

I am strategic. Strategic I am.
Do you like to think strategically?

I do not like to think strategically,
not in an office
not in a tree.

It’s more fun to think tactically,
stuff I can touch,
stuff I can see.


Click here to read the rest of this brilliant work.

As I read this and realized that this author had written a better piece than I had envisioned, I was reminded of something.

When we go about our day-to-day work, we often think we have the best answer to a specific challenge or problem.  Sometimes it may be true.

However, if we choose to ignore the possibility that perhaps someone out there has a better solution than we do or has the missing piece of a puzzle we are wrestling with, then we are denying an opportunity to discover or create a better solution.

Oftentimes, we go about believing that our way is best or our solution is THE solution instead of A solution while forgetting that leveraging the talent and skills in others is the basis for truly successful collaboration.

For all the teams I have built over the years, there was a set of characteristics that I always looked for in addition to the required technical and business skills:

Are you smarter than I am or at a bare minimum, do you bring things to the table that I don’t have within me or have access to.

If the answer is “yes”, then I want you on my team.

Because if my success and the success of people around me is limited to just my intelligence and capabilities, then I have condemned everyone to less than the best we are capable of.

And that is a shame indeed.

If my ego doesn’t like it, that’s too bad.  I find it far more fun to promote the brilliance of others than to lay claim to my own clever insight.  And when I think about the brilliance I have been surrounded by over the years, I am humbled indeed.

As Sir Isaac Newton said:

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Now … I wonder if I can do something with Dr. Seuss’s “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish”.

In service and servanthood,


PS For another brilliant application of children’s literature in conveying business knowledge, I highly recommend “The Ugly Duckling Goes to Work: Wisdom for the Workplace from the Classic Tales of Hans Christian Andersen” by Mette Norgaard.


  1. Humility is indeed a strength and this brilliant post indicates your strength, Harry. It'ds important to get lots of reminders about this and I greatly appreciate yours.

  2. Hi Randall,

    I am honored and humbled by your kind words today. Thank you - I deeply appreciate you! :-)

    Create a great day!