As a leader, you may be tempted to demonstrate your intelligence to others. While this may seem like a way to prove your competence and expertise, it can actually be counterproductive. The reason being is that the first thing you should have learned about leadership is it isn’t about you. Being a leader is about getting others to follow you and to do that, you must have something they need, want, and desire.

Smart leaders understand that followers gravitate towards leaders because leaders can help them acquire the needs, wants, and desires that the follower was unable to acquire on their own. Basically, a leader simplifies the process for the followers. Living is a complicated process most people aren’t interested in anything that makes it more difficult.

The real way to demonstrate your expertise is to simplify the complex. Einstien says: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. I’m sure there have existed more intelligent men on this planet than Einstien, however, he used his genius to simplify the problems of the world in a way that related to most people. This has made him one of the most famous, referenced, quoted, respected, and followed human beings in recent history. Take a page out of Einstien’s book if you want to be followed and respected, keep it simple for those who follow you.

Learning how to simplify the complex isn’t easy that’s why only smart leaders do it. It takes a lot of patience and practice. Luckily, you don’t have to find an expert mentor or go to some fancy college to get the training you need. You can easily acquire the practice you need by working with children. They have a knack for asking you questions, testing your patience, and making you repeat things until you can explain it in a way they understand. The next time you have a big idea, concept, speech, or process run it by your child first, if they understand it you’re an expert if they don’t, remember to keep it simple stupid!