In my experience, the most common obstacle holding back highly intelligent people from achieving their potential is that they’re so smart that they always think they’re right, but not quite humble enough to realize that they’re frequently wrong.
It took me a long time to understand this, but it was a pivotal epiphany that changed my path.
Sadly, over years and perhaps decades of this condition, they watch those they perceive as less capable grow and flourish personally and professionally while they struggle to move forward. To these smart people, it feels like the world is unfair, but fairness isn’t their biggest obstacle.
The moment I understood this and recognized it in myself was the pivotal point in my career as well as in my personal life. I suffered from this condition for the first decade of my career. Humility and coachability have been core personal development goals for me ever since.