Is clever the new sexy?

Most of us are drawn to people who improve our lives. Humans are different from animals in that sexy to us is in the mind as much as in reacting instinctively.

Clever is a compelling trait, and more than intelligence – it’s being able to use your smarts to see how to improve yourself, another person, or a situation. Clever is being quick to get the point or to see a problem or issue from a different vantage point.

Clever is a component of intelligence that’s positive. Not all the gifts of intelligence are positive ones. A troubled Ernest Hemingway wrote, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

You may not be able to learn how to be more intelligent, but you can learn how to be cleverer. Practice is one tool. The more you look for the positive and search for clever ideas around you, the cleverer you become.

For example, the person who thought of making this ugly carrot look sexy is clever. There is a new trend in making ugly fruit and vegetables look good so they are sold rather than discarded. And the person who dressed up this carrot is clever in recognizing and promoting this trend.

And what’s the current wisdom about how to manage clever people? Dr. Goffee from the London School of Economics says it’s simply by being a low-key orchestrator who recognizes them and allows them independence.

By Dr. Sabra Brock, co-founder of Idea Spies

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