Being Smart Isn’t a Job Description

Paul Hebert Driving Productivity, Organizational Development, Paul Hebert, Performance

It’s the Friday before a holiday and you don’t really want to read another tome on employee engagement, do you? You want something light, fluffy, yet tasty and worth the effort.

Let’s see if I can serve that up for you.

Wicked Smaht

We love smart people. We love to listen to them. We love to sit with them and watch as they come up with unbelievable submissions in Words With Friends (like qajaq – don’t believe me click the link.) We like to hire smart people. It makes us look smart.

But here’s the thing from a manager and HR perspective. Being smart isn’t a job description.

Being smart is nice, but getting stuff done is what rings the bell, my friends. I’ve seen many a smart person sitting alone on the subway mumbling to themselves incoherently, wondering why they can’t keep a job or why the guy in the next cube got the raise and the promotion. They can’t imagine how someone less smart than them keeps getting ahead. What they can’t see is that the other person won out because they executed.

They got it done.

Being smart is nice. Heck—we’ve got a whole world of social media designed to reward the pithy and smart with RTs and likes.

But the real world fact is this: companies reward execution.

As an HR pro and manager—your job is to separate the “just smart” people from those that get the job done. That is the hard work. Smart is easy to spot—smart people never cease to tell you they are smart. Folks who execute are harder to find because they are typically too busy to talk about how smart they are.

Don’t look for smart—look for done.

There is no job description for being smart—only for getting results.

Given the choice between someone who can use qajaq in Scrabble once every three games and someone who can use their tiles with the words like “done,” “finished,” “next” and “complete” on double and triple letter spaces in every. game. they. play—go for the more common words.

Go for execution.

And in homage to the 9.9.2014 Apple announcements coming up when everyone will absolutely lose their s#*t regardless of what is presented…

One… more… thing…

ProTip for smart people:

If you are a smart person and if you know you don’t execute as well as someone else (I’d say you’re brilliant if you realize that because most smart people never see their own faults…), find yourself a “manifestor”—someone who can help you move from thought to action, from idea to implementation. There are many, many people who get stuff done—but need someone to provide the idea and the direction.

Enjoy your day off… don’t burn the burgers.