Call Me Stupid!

Rob-Shear

Rob Shear

Post written by Rob Shear, CEO of PACE Sage Capital, LLC

You may have begun watching or heard of the new anthology Series “Genius” on National Geographic TV, which follows the ups and downs of the life of the brilliant and “genius” Noble Prize-winning physicist, Albert Einstein.  The scripted series is based on the best-selling book by Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe.

I attended a beautiful charity event recently at Williams Island in Aventura, Florida honoring the legendary Australian tennis player, Fred Stolle.  Besides the tennis exhibition, there was a live auction of tennis lessons with Fred and lots of fun and exciting trips.  There was also a silent auction of photos and other sports memorabilia.

As I was perusing the memorabilia, a picture that seemed out of place for a tennis charity event struck me profoundly.  I kept returning to the silent auction tables to take another look at this picture.  I was fixated on the quote at the top and the picture and autograph of the person who was quoted.  I was determined to take this picture home and place it in the middle of a large wall in my office.  I outbid a few others and won the picture!

What is the quote?  “The difference between stupidity & genius is that genius has its limits”.  Guess who said this?  None other than the subject of the new TV series “Genius”, Albert Einstein!

Albert EinsteinWow!  Albert Einstein would prefer to be called stupid rather than genius!  When you noodle on this for more than a bit, you get it!  How many times in life do we believe that we know everything there is to know about something and then we learn the hard way that we need more learning to get things better and right.

I was out for dinner with my parents on my trip to Aventura and I suggested that they should share some of their life lessons to both their children and grandchildren.

My mother retorted that even with all their extra years of life experience (one of the reasons to honor our parents), the biggest lesson they could impart is how much you don’t know and still try to figure out, even in the later stages of life.

The same goes for business.  I never want to be called an expert in any business that I run or work in.  The best compliment would be someone saying that I’m the best student or most learned in my industry.

We constantly learn and evolve on the job and our businesses need to adapt to changes and disruptions that occur so frequently.  If we can appreciate always how much we don’t know and strive for more learning “without limits”, it would be an honor to be called stupid.

Mr. Einstein, THANK YOU and please CALL ME STUPID!

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