On that note, leading clevers require some non-traditional leadership skills. Please describe a couple of them.
We have a full list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ in the book. We say things like: Do explain and persuade rather than tell people what to do; do use your expertise rather than rely on the hierarchy; do encourage failure to maximize learning. Don’t train. Now some people may think, ‘What, don’t train?’ What we mean is that a lot of clever people regard training programs as a kind of death. For example, with lawyers and doctors, if you mention a leadership training program they’ll go to sleep straight away. So do provide opportunities for clevers to learn within what they’re doing, and do give them recognition, but don’t try to train them.
Rob Goffee, a member of the Thinkers 50 list of the world’s most influential management thinkers, is a professor of Organizational Behaviour at London Business School. He is the co-author of Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People and Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?.