Jeff Bezos Says This Is the Single Biggest Sign That Someone Is Intelligent (It’s Counterintuitive) – Inc.

Jeff Bezos Says This Is the Single Biggest Sign That Someone Is Intelligent (It’s Counterintuitive) – Inc.

Jeff Bezos
There are plenty of opinions about what makes for the smartest people. I give more credence to those who judge from a place of having intense smarts and oversized results to match. Enter the opinion of one Jeff Bezos (an opinion that fellow columnist Jessica Stillman also had an interesting take on). The Amazon founder and CEO paid a visit to the headquarters of Basecamp (an accountability and communications application). During an open Q&A session he commented on what he thought made for the smartest people. It's not the answer you'd expect. Bezos said the smartest individuals, the people who most often got things right, were most often wrong. Jeff Bezos thinks consistency of thought is a bad thing. He told the crowd that people who end up being right a lot often change their minds along the way in getting to that right answer. They do so because they get and accept new information, they revisit their understanding and knowledge, they find holes in their own proposed solutions and stay open to new ideas and contradictions and to those who challenge their viewpoint. They still have a well-formulated point ....

He went on to say that is was perfectly healthy, and even necessary in today's fast pace of change, to have a new idea that contradicts a previous idea you had. He said that those who are just plain wrong a lot (and not wrong on the path towards being right), are those who obsess over details that only support their point of view and that can't/don't/won't step out of the details to see the bigger picture from multiple angles. Some of the best leaders I've worked for had this trait. They were decisive when they made the call. But they carefully set parameters for when a decision could be revisited. Which leads us to the next point. Be careful about taking Bezos' intriguing thought out the window, though. Bezos is right. The highest IQ people are smart enough to realize they aren't smart enough to always have the right answer right from the get-go. .

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