GUEST EDITORIAL: The smartest guy in the room

Matt Oxley

By Matt Oxley

Have you ever met a person who always thought he was the smartest guy in the room?

I used to be one of those guys. Humility has a way of teaching those sorts of lessons in interesting ways…

Back when I was a volunteer board member for a local chamber of commerce, I recognized that the interim president believed himself to be the smartest guy in the room nearly always. In rooms with 100 professionals, that was his base assumption. He talked over everyone, groped and touched and ogled, over-rode the decisions of the board (if you’ve ever served on a board, you know that’s not how it works), and expected to direct rather than be directed.

The first time I met him, I knew that’s who he was. I observed him a lot. I observed him assume that he knew what everyone else didn’t . Meanwhile – he was practically always the least informed, least educated, least liked, and least aware of all of those things. I watched him talk down to women with more experience and expertise in their big toe like they were little girls playing with barbies. The racist stuff he said (and repeatedly told other board members about) would embarrass most Southern white folk.

He once accused me in front of 5 different witnesses of committing a felony just because he didn’t understand the software the organization used (and because he had fired someone I was friends with).

He nearly discovered that he was not only NOT the smartest guy in the room that day, but the easiest to knock on his _ _ _. You can all guess why I wasn’t asked to come back for the 2018 year.

My point is, those people are dangerous. People that think they know more than everyone else when in fact they don’t: a terrible idea. They should never have power. Ever.

My other point? For a short time there I thought it was me that was the smartest guy in the room, and he the buffoon – instead though, I observed a few other bright people get the hell outta there way before I did. They just didn’t have time for it and didn’t waste their energy. They recognized that they were the smartest people in the room – and a lesson I’ve learned from that is:

Anytime you are the smartest person in a room, find a better room.

Matt Oxley is the owner of Oxley Performance Computer, LLC . Oxley Performance Computers, LLC was founded in 2004. Matt grew up with a love for technology and a passion for gaining knowledge through experience as a teenager. He can be reached at

Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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