I don’t why it took me forty years to figure out that the smartest people are not the ones who are always talking and telling you what they know. The real smart people are those who are listening and asking questions. Stay away from the “experts” with all the answers – chances are they are selling something or have had one experience many times with no breath or depth to the experience.
I learned to find someone who has fallen and got back up and forged ahead and is better for the experience. The real smart people have skin in the game, they are on the firing line working, trying, failing and getting up and getting better. This is experience that is meaningful.
My take home lesson after 45 years of coaching is to learn to ask smart questions, sharpen your listening skills, be true to your beliefs and practice what you preach.