The most common “mistake” high-intelligent people make is that they think like Einstein, questioning the question before answering. This is of course good if you are a philosopher, entrepreneur or at a certain level as a researcher wrestling with big questions and have the luxury of spending time with the basic theses of a question or a problem definition.
However, most of us do not have that luxury.
As part of projects, we’re often forced to find answers to lazy, unnecessary questions, and provide obvious answers through sometimes expensive and complicated processes, etc. Something that frustrates even the moderately intelligent. Those who question the basic tenets of claims and arguments however are often considered to be difficult, hardworking, tough and unwilling to do work.
That’s exactly how it was for Einstein who allegedly spent 95% of his time understanding the problem, and 5% finding an answer, something I would assume is foreign to the less intelligent, who prefers complicated answers which make them look more intelligent than they really are, and legitimize budgets and high fees.
Moreover, Einstein tried to avoid problems instead of solving them, which is even worse, as companies, consultants and research projects and grants presuppose that a problem exists and must be solved. Imagine a consultant at company X who finds a way for a customer to avoid the problem company X gets paid to solve. It goes without saying that he won’t be a popular at the watercooler.
Avoiding a problem by spending 90% of their time on the problem and not the solution is therefore the “mistake” that the highly-intelligent often make, and contributes to them being mocked, costs them their reputation and sometimes work among the less intelligent.
On the other hand, it’s exactly this quality that makes them “winners” in the long-term, as long as they have the courage to pursue their ideas, and maybe they are lucky enough to meet other highly intelligent individuals, or should we say, others with common sense.