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Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People by Gareth Jones, Rob Goffee

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INTRODUCTION

Most organizations have them. They are individuals who make a disproportionate contribution to what the organization does. They habitually punch above their weight. Sometimes there are lots of them, while other times there are just a handful. Exactly who they are and what they do varies greatly according to the context.

In a Harvard Business Review article, we labeled such individuals “clever people.” In the United States, we know, being clever carries connotations of being overly smart and difficult. But we prefer the English interpretation—being skilled and talented—with an acceptance that being smart usually comes with a few rough edges.

Who do we mean when we talk of clever people? Well, think, for example, of software programmers ...

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