Brilliant but Boorish vs. Competent but Charismatic


Shortly after watching “The Imitation Game” I started thinking about whether I would want to be brilliant but boorish or competent but charismatic.

My first thought was to go with the brilliant but boorish combination, since it seems that brilliant people are the ones that change the world. They are so driven by their ideas and capabilities that they don’t care what people think of them.

However, it would probably be a lot easier to get through life as someone who was competent but charismatic. Plus, it’s the charismatic ones who are perhaps better able to get others to buy into their ideas.

Since most of are somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, I then wondered which trait would be easier to develop. Is it easier to be “naturally” brilliant (a prodigy) and then work on becoming charismatic, or is it easier to be naturally charismatic and then learn to become brilliant? My guess is that brilliance is harder to develop than charisma, but I have no evidence to support such an assertion, since I am neither brilliant nor charismatic.

So while the ideal combination might seem to be both brilliant and charismatic, I think that what makes life so interesting and full of possibilities is that we have all types of intellects and personalities, and that any combination is capable of making a difference.