Dumb and Dumber


The same people sitting around the same table produce the same results. It’s dumb to think otherwise.

It’s even dumber to expect the people who caused the problem to solve it.

The future is the past without intervention.

Working harder, if you’re already working hard, won’t change much.

Efficiency is never the path to exponential change.

Hope for dumb and dumber:

  1. Identify an opportunity. Drucker said, “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” Leaders who only point out problems lose.
  2. Entrenchment produces resistance. Expect entrenched people to resist change. Rotate jobs and modify job descriptions.
  3. Don’t rely on working harder. Hard work got you here. Sincerity and good intentions won’t work either.
  4. Embrace the pain. Your leadership contributed to the results you currently enjoy. Disappointing results point to unsatisfactory leadership. The more control you have the more responsible you are.
  5. Determine what to stop. Stopping is the most courageous act of leadership. More of the same produces more of the same. Change begins with stopping.
  6. Change an attitude. What attitude validates a disappointing the past? Choose it’s opposite.
  7. Add outside voices. Look for courageous honesty. Begin with people you currently know. The most powerful voice of change often comes from the outside.
  8. Reject outside voices that validate what you currently know.
  9. Excuses and blaming always solidify the past.
  10. Test before going all-in. Run a pilot program, for example.

The key:

Be dumb. Knowing answers gets in the way of finding answers.

Ignorance is your greatest asset.

People who “know” always do what they know – which is more of the same.

Even if you think you know, pretend you don’t. One secret of great leadership is being dumb enough to learn and confident enough to risk.

Bonus material: “Are you Dumb Enough to Lead

How can leaders overcome the belief that working harder is the solution?

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