February 8, 2014

Take Your Advice And Shove It

Great piece in the Wall Street Journal today on getting and giving advice. 

This was a funny article about how most advice comes not from the wise, but from the idiots trying to push their own agendas, make a buck off you, or bud into your business. 

When people try to tell you what to do, "the subtext is 'You're an idiot for not already doing it."

But who wants to do what someone else tells them to do--unless you a robotic, brainless, loser!

Every manager should already know that everyone hates a control freak micromanager--and that they suck the creative lifeblood out of the organization. 

The flip side is when you give people the freedom to express their talents and take charge of their work activities, you motivate them to "own it!"

Real meaning from work comes from actually having some responsibility for something where the results matter and not just marching to the tune of a different drummer. 

The best leaders guide the organization and their people towards a great vision, but don't choke off innovation and creativity and sticking their fat fingers in people's eyes. 

The flip side of advice not getting hammered on you, is when you have the opportunity to request it. 

People who aren't narcissistic, control freaks seek out other people's opinions on how to approach a problem and to evaluate the best solutions. 

This doesn't mean that they aren't smart and capable people in and of themselves, but rather that they are actually smarter and more capable because they augment their experience and thinking with that of others--vetting a solution until they find one that really rocks!

While decision making by committee can lead to analysis paralysis or a cover your a*s (CYA) culture, the real point to good governance is to look at problems and solutions from diverse perspectives and all angles before jumping head first into what is really a pile of rocks under the surface. 

Does vetting always get you the right or best decision? 

Of course not, because people hijack the process with the biggest mouth blowing the hottest stream. 

But if you can offset the power jocks and jerky personalities out there, then you really have an opportunity to benefit from how others look at things. 

While the collective wisdom can be helpful, in the end, all real grown ups show personal independence, self-sufficiency, and a mind of their own, and take responsibility for their decisions and actions. 

We can learn from others, but we learn best from our own mistakes...no pain, no gain. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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