When an average thinker suggests that you’re exceedingly bright, you view the comment as a compliment and take it in stride. But when someone you believe is exceptionally smart suggests you are highly intelligent, the comment lingers and bolsters your self-esteem for hours, even days. Similarly, when someone creative tells you how innovative you are, or when someone physically strong comments on how powerful you have become, those words mean more. We believe them because they come from a place of excellence. In the words of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” We most relish praise that mirrors the excellence we see in others. This is what happens when leaders offer compliments or praise to others about strengths the leader is known for themselves.