Learning from Smart People

The “Learning from Smart People” podcast is the brainchild of Guinness World Record Setting Podcaster Rob Oliver.

The inspiration for the show came from 3 questions: First of all, “Why should I listen to other people?“, Next, “Who are the smart people?” Finally, “How do I learn from them?

Why should I listen to other people?

Sometimes, leaders confuse power for intelligence. As a result, in an attempt to stroke their own ego, they often think that they are the smartest person in any given room. A wonderful example that completely debunks this concept comes from the Cabinet of the United States’ president. Why would the most powerful man in the world need such a diverse group of advisers? Because he is not an expert in every field he chooses people who are the experts in their field to advise and teach him. Consequently, He isn’t the smartest person on every topic, but has access to the people with the “smarts”.

Who are the smart people?

Rob’s theory on “smart people” is that in any room, each individual knows more about a niche topic than anyone else in the room. For example, someone might know about knitting, another person might know about gardening, another is knowledgeable about customer service, someone else knows about public speaking, certainly the possibilities are endless. Therefore, according to Rob’s theory, no matter where you are, there is a subject that you know more about than anyone else around you.

Interestingly enough, the topic on which you are the most knowledgeable person may change depending on who else is in the room. So here is how that looks in the real world. At the school PTA meeting, you may be the most knowledgeable person about writing a book. In contrast, at an authors convention, you may feel like are others who have more book writing expertise than you. In that setting, Rob sees the need to drill down and look at niches within book writing. You might be the “smartest person” on the topic of finding a publisher or book editing or DIY cover design or character development, again the number of possible niches is enormous.

Consequently, everyone is an expert in their own niche. The awesome part of this is the opportunity to learn from the experts around you to expand your own knowledge.

How do I learn from them?

Obviously, one of the first places you can learn from the experts is right here on “Learning from Smart People”. Furthermore, you can learn from the experts by reading books and articles, watching videos and attending conferences. Ultimately, the goal is to create a learning mindset. One where we are always looking for opportunities to expand our knowledge base.

The first step in creating that mindset is listening. My elementary school teacher taught me that you cannot absorb information through your ears if your mouth is engaged. These many years later, I have learned to listen more than I talk. When you listen, it’s amazing what you can learn from the people around you!

Rob Oliver

Rob has been married to his wife, Becky, since 1994. He is the proud father of triplets, yes, that’s right, triplets: a boy and 2 girls. Needless to say, his house is a bustle of activity.

Additionally, Rob is a keynote speaker. He speaks about dealing with adversity and creating success, using his personal experiences as an example. He also presents to medical professionals about person and family centered care coupled with practical ideas about improving the quality of healthcare.

Rob also hosts the Guinness World Record SettingPerspectives on Healthcare” podcast where he interviews medical professionals and patients. They talk about quality healthcare, healthcare heroes, the future of healthcare, and improving healthcare quality. By interviewing 137 patients over the course of 37 hours, 44 minutes, and 17 seconds, the Perspectives on Healthcare podcast set the record for the longest interviewing marathon.

Rob is also a best-selling author. His two autobiographical books are called “Still Walking” and “Still Falling.” Because of the issues surrounding bullying, he wrote a children’s book called “Who, Me? Yeah, You!” “Still Walking” was subsequently translated into Spanish.


As a self published author, Rob created his own publishing company, IX Press. The company helps other authors work through the process of creating and selling their own books. It is an opportunity to take what he learned through creating his books and share his expertise with others.

Finally, Rob is a lifelong learner. His goal in creating this podcast is to learn how to be better at what he does and, consequently, help his audience be better at what they do.