One of the wisest proverbs I have ever heard from the Yoruba race is the one that can be interpreted as ‘when someone borrows the wisdom of another person in order to get things done, it restrains us from calling the person a mad man.’ I like that and would want to put it into perspectives for us to see how we can become smarter than we really are!
I have heard, just as you may have heard as well, that a companion of fools shall be destroyed but the one who walks with the wise shall himself become wise! Sometimes we really don’t have to be the one that’s very smart but we must be wise enough to have some very smart people around us and when we have those smart people around us and as well take to some of their very smart and intelligent ways of doing things then their smartness will begin to impact us in one way or the other.
Just yesterday as I travelled with a group of Public Relations personal and a TV crew, we began to talk about the works that a governor who governed a state in Nigeria back in the 80s did so well that people in this present generation are still enjoying and so many others to come will still come and enjoy. We all shared the opinion that the governor in question was a real visionary who sincerely had the general public in mind while he was serving the people. It was also very obvious that he was not in power for personal gains but while we were talking about all the things that he did someone spoke up and said that all the things he did may not have been his ideas! Some other people around him would have influenced his decisions!
We agreed with the fact that some of the governor’s advisers at the time may have influenced some of his decisions but we still came back to the fact that if the governor was not a listening leader he would not have taken all the great suggestions and nothing can be done by those advisers because they were in no position to enforce anything they suggested! The main lessons of the conversation ended up being that you really don’t have to be smart but you can be smart enough to keep smart people around you who will give smart suggestions and you need to be smart enough to stick to the plan of those smart people! When you do that then everybody will agree that you are smart and they will celebrate you for being wise enough to take on the brains of smart people and work with them!
I have seen several organisations where subordinates cannot give their suggestions and even when they are allowed to talk, they have just spoken for the fun of being a part of the meeting but nothing they say would be adhered to even when it makes a lot of sense and can change the fortunes of the organisation. In some others, the leader just wants to take all the decisions himself and at the end of the day he does not appear smart because he might be taking some wrong decisions.
It is foolishness to try to appear smart all by yourself and you must know that no one will believe you! That’s why some authors in the academic field who want to write intellectual papers to be used in classes or just for the purpose of public enlightenment are required to give us references to the text that they consulted before they could come up with such knowledge! This has to be so because no one is an Island of knowledge!
Let me cap it all by just saying, you can be a lot smarter when you borrow other people’s brains to get things done and you should never be afraid to do so!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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