I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with an elite group of men and women, less than 20 in all of Canada who specifically do what we do. I realized a few things.
I'm not the smartest guy in the room. Never have been. I'm sometimes I'm amazed to find myself in the company of some of the people in whose company I sometimes find myself. From co-workers to board members to regular folks with common interests, I'm usually in awe. But if I'm smart enough to get into the room I make it a point to shut up and to listen.
I don't have all the answers. See above. But I do have lots of questions, and I sure do learn a lot when smart people get talking to each other. The trick is to stay engaged by contributing, asking a few questions and seeking clarification, and then repeating back what you think you've heard.
I don't fake the answer if I don't know. That's painful, and I don't mind asking someone to explain an acronym or forgive my ignorance. I admire people who rattle off stats from the top of their head, but if it doesn't help me achieve my goals, I don't waste a lot of gray matter on it. Not a lot available.
A good laugh goes a long way. And I'm occasionally funny.