If it isn’t your job to do it, perhaps it is your opportunity.
Someone once observed that the reason we often fail to recognize opportunities is because they come disguised as problems. When a customer, a colleague, or your boss has a problem, it may create a valuable opportunity for you. It isn’t important to the person with the problem how your company is organized or whose responsibility it is to solve the problem; he or she only wants the situation resolved.
The next time a customer, a colleague, or your boss asks for your assistance in something that falls outside your area of responsibility, instead of referring them to someone else, offer to help. Look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. How would you like the situation handled if the roles were reversed? Take the initiative to find the answer, solve the problem, or keep the project moving forward.
It is a natural human reaction for you to wish to correct others when you see them making a mistake or doing something differently than you would have done it. It is far more difficult to control the impulse to show them how much more intelligent you are. The ability to recognize and control such impulses marks the beginning of the development of wisdom. A wise person knows that when he shows his intelligence with the actions he takes, others learn a far more valuable and lasting lesson.
If you see someone who could benefit from your advice, you can gently lead him to a more appropriate conclusion by asking open-ended, nonjudgmental questions. Let others find the flaws in their reasoning by leading them logically through the process. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.”
If you really are smarter than others, show them with your actions.