Why Not Being the Smartest Person in the Room is Good for Your Growth with Lola Oyelayo-Pearson

Why Not Being the Smartest Person in the Room is Good for Your Growth with Lola Oyelayo-Pearson


In this episode, we have the pleasure of featuring Lola Oyelayo-Pearson, a digital design and product strategist with a wealth of experience in helping executive teams build the right cultures, practices, and capabilities for their digital goals. With over 16 years in the industry, Lola is a strong advocate for user-centred thinking and design, even in complex technological environments.

In this captivating episode of Everyday Leadership, we dive deep into the fascinating intersection of blockchain technology, decentralization, and how they impact ownership structures. We also have an honest discussion about what it feels like to be the least knowledgeable person in the room. While we often hear about this situation, Lola shares her perspective on why it’s not just an opportunity for growth, but a necessity for leaders.

Our conversation also explores the two types of failure – conceptual and execution. We shed light on practical steps to navigate failure and the benefits of sharing your thought process to encourage collaboration and achieve better outcomes.

One of the key points we focus on is the delicate balance that leaders must strike between managing the downside and constantly striving for the upside. We also delve into transforming leadership landscapes to empower underrepresented groups, emphasizing the need to build “staircases” for continuous support rather than “ladders” of temporary opportunities. Lastly, we tackle “the curse of the competent” – the tendency for capable individuals to be overwhelmed with tasks. We provide actionable steps to assert boundaries and ensure that tasks serve your purpose, not just those of others.

In this episode, we explore the following topics:

– [00:04:37] How blockchain technology enables decentralized ownership and greater representation.
– [00:22:29] The importance of exposing your thinking and how it contributes to the best outcomes.
– [00:28:08] Transforming the warrior mentality into an intentional alchemist.
– [00:35:53] Lola’s journey of quitting her investment banking role to prioritize her values and peace of mind.
– [00:46:13] Building staircases, not ladders, to combat inequality in the tech industry.
– [00:56:27] Understanding the “curse of the competent” and taking steps to overcome it.
– [01:03:31] An introduction to the Lost in Tech podcast – providing a human and diverse perspective on the tech industry.
– [01:07:39] Lola’s definition of leadership.

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