Skip to main content

CEOs: Never Think You Are The Smartest Person In The Room

Confident CEO or business ownerTo be a successful business leader is somewhat of a balancing act. CEOs, presidents and business owners need to be right up front leading the way. Showing others how it’s done. At the same time, not letting ego get in the way of success by acting like the smartest person in the room.

There are business people who think they are leaders due to their company title and position. No matter where they go, they believe they are the smartest person in the room. They may say one thing but do another. Never truly listening to what others have to say.


For business success, as a CEO, president or business owner, never think you are the smartest person in the room.

If and when you do, you instantly lose the opportunity to:

  • Connect with other people
  • Learn and gain insight from others
  • Be more successful.


For example:

The person with the least amount of responsibility in the company may be the person who will give you an incredible idea that helps the business to meet its goals. That person may see something you don’t see. Recognize their contribution.

For business success, you need to be able to see things:

  • Through other people’s eyes
  • From their point-of-view
  • From where they are standing
  • From what they have experienced.


A true business leader listens to what others have to say, asks questions and continues to listen. Not talk like you are the smartest person in the room with the attitude nobody knows more than you do. Ongoing dialogue is critical to business success.


Here’s another example:

You’re at a party and engage someone in conversation. You start asking them questions appropriate to the gathering and about themselves. You don’t really talk all that much. Rather you just listen and ask more questions. When the other person walks away they will remember you in a positive way and how much they enjoyed talking with you. Rather than trying to get away from you at the first opportune moment. Why? Because you took an interest in them.


If you own and manage a business, everyone you work with is an extension of your business; they are an extension of you if you allow them to be.

For example:

Have questions about sales? Ask questions. Listen to your salespeople.

Have questions about products or services? Ask questions. Listen to your customers.


Have you ever spent a day or even an hour doing a co-worker’s job at your company? You’ll learn about your company. How to make it better. Appreciate more the role every employee performs on a daily basis to keep the company moving forward.

Also, consider vendors and other professional services you may contract with. Maybe it’s the person who delivers the monthly supply for the water cooler. Say “hello” and start a conversation. A simple “hello” may lead to a comment or some other insight you otherwise would never have had access to. The delivery person may have observed something outside your building. Or may say one word that just suddenly lights up your brain and inspires an “aha moment” for you and more success for the business.

Never act like you are the smartest person in the room.

Instead… Be the smartest person in the room because you:

  • Take an interest
  • Listen
  • Ask questions
  • Are involved in the business lives of others
  • Willing to work side-by-side with employees
  • Genuinely care about the success of everyone you meet.

In turn, you and your company will be successful!


A significant percentage of your business success comes from the interaction with other people. Be consciously aware every business day of your conversations, no matter how short or long.

Remember: There are times when you need to take the lead and be dynamic in your business day. When you need to be the one doing the talking. Giving others direction, information and motivation. The key is finding the right balance.


To your success!


Want to improve your business? Have an unresolved business problem or issue? Talk with Howard! – 888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress.



Also published as a guest post on Linked Into Business.



Want More Success And More Profit In Your Business?
Sign Up For Free Business Tips And Strategies from Howard.

Your privacy is respected. Will never sell, rent, trade or share your email or information.