Smart people are driven by the desire to add value. They try to add value to everything they get involved in. Because they’re smart, they know a lot. Because they know a lot, they feel they can contribute a lot. Believe me, I often fall under this same category.
Naturally, you’d think that being smart makes you a great leader and contributor. Your direct report comes to you with an idea? A great idea indeed! And here’s how it can become even better. Your team has found a clever way to solve a problem? Fantastic! Now here’s how they can implement it in the best way possible.
But does it? There’s a problem with adding value to other people’s ideas. You kill their commitment. You’ve just taken an idea—a decent one in fact—and made it your own. You’ve added 10% value… and destroyed 50% of the other person’s commitment.
Beware the dangers of adding too much value. The best night skies are those where few stars outshine the others.