I think that this useful article is misnamed. It’s called “10 ways you know you’re with smart people,” but I don’t think of people as “smart” unless they are hard-working, they have kind hearts and they know how to work well with those around them. I’ve repeatedly learned over the years to simply being “smart” doesn’t cut it. Ever. Further, I don’t think that the items in the list ways to necessarily know you’re with “smart” people. What it does seem to be is a good collection of some of the important characteristics of highly functional people.
I haven’t always worked with highly functional people, but I’ve noticed the characteristics of the article’s list in the people I currently work with (I’m fortunate to work with a highly regarded law firm in St. Louis). Every day is an exciting and rewarding (sometimes exhausting) experience, and we have a lot to show for our efforts. But very little of this could have happened simply by having “smart” people around. It takes much more to have a functional workplace.
Many people are “smart” in the sense that they know a lot of things, but this article contains a list of some of the important things that “smart” people do in order to truly get the job done. Some of the main things they do is to keep their focus, think innovatively, be ready to risk failure and work hard to draw the best performances out of each other. For those of you who are in highly functional workplaces, I suspect that you see many of these sorts of things in your co-workers too.