The recent auction of a famous photo of Albert Einstein (the one where he is sticking out his tongue from 1951) reminds me of the apocryphal tale of his lecture tour of the US on Relativity. Throughout the tour the great scientific genius employed the same chauffeur, who would sit at the back of the lecture hall each night waiting for his employer to finish before driving him back to his hotel.
After a while, the chauffeur told Einstein that he had heard the lecture so many times he believed he would be able to deliver it himself. Einstein decided to let him take up the challenge, knowing that their next stop was a place where he was not well known and so it was possible no one would guess that they had swapped roles.
Sure enough, on the night, the chauffeur took to the stage and completed the lecture without anyone being the wiser. Meanwhile Einstein took a quiet nap at the back of the lecture hall posing as the chauffeur.
However, just as the real chauffeur was leaving the stage, a research student asked him a very complex question to which he did not know the answer. Thinking quickly, he said: “The answer to that question is so simple that I am going to let my chauffeur answer it for me.” Now that’s genius.