10 Stupid Things Smart Leaders Do
“Stupid is as stupid does.” Forest Gump
The danger of stupid is it seems smart.
Smart people do stupid things.
You must quit doing stupid things to make room for smart things. The person who can’t quit, can’t change.
Comfort with stupidity means continued self-defeat.
10 stupid things smart leaders do:
My friend, Stan Endicott, tells managers who ask for advice, “Don’t do anything stupid.”
Two kinds of stupid.
- Stupid things you know you’re doing.
- Stupid things you don’t know you’re doing.
You need other people to help you see stupid things you don’t see – if you’re smart enough to listen. Someone will say something to you that seems stupid. It might be what you need to hear.
Explore things that seem stupid. When someone says, “You’re working too many hours,” reflect on their motives. Consider your lifestyle.
Quality of life is the result of repeated behaviors.
What do your repeated behaviors say about your future?
Smart people know they do stupid things.
Life would be better if you just stopped doing stupid things.
10 stupid things:
- Having crucial conversations on email.
- Bringing up a problem or complaint and expecting someone else to solve it for you.
- Eating ice cream from the container instead of putting one serving in a dish.
- Working till you can’t think clearly.
- Trying to fix people.
- Allowing confidence to become entitlement.
- Expecting performance from novices.
- Hanging on to offenses.
- Assuming you communicate clearly.
- Waiting for perfect circumstances.
Tip for dealing with stupid:
Be concerned for yourself like you are someone you love.
Talk to yourself as if you want to help yourself instead of beating yourself down.
What’s true of people who don’t stop doing stupid things?
What are some stupid things smart leaders do?
…as to “what stupid things” I’ll add, assuming your well thought through Plan A does not need an equally well thought out Plan B.
One of my better managers always required a well thought our Plan B, i learned the exercise improved the quality of Plan A.
Thanks Ken. Your comment is a classic case of something that feels uncomfortable to me. Plan B bugs me. I want everyone to go all-in on plan A. I fear having a well-crafted Plan B will dilute enthusiasm for Plan A. BUT…
I’m learning to practice what I preach. When something seems stupid, maybe I should explore.
When you said developing a Plan B improved the quality of Plan A, I realized that I can be stupid and not know it. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Glad you’re connected with Stan! He’s definitely a KISS kind of leader, and a great guy. Me, though… I’m perpetually doing #4. But I swear by #8! I still love that adage that “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die…”
Great Post – loved reading the ten stupid things list – these are the 5 that really resonated with me (though they were all good – nice humor points on the ice cream). Thank you for sharing your insights.
Having crucial conversations on email.
Bringing up a problem or complaint and expecting someone else to solve it for you.
Allowing confidence to become entitlement.
Hanging on to offenses.
Assuming you communicate clearly.
The difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. But, oh, that rut is SOOO comfortable. What everything on the list has in common is that you do them because they are comfortable, not necessarily because you think they are smart. A smart leader, on the other hand, knows that you need to change, especially when you think you have it all under control.
“Be concerned for yourself like you are someone you love.” ’nuff said.
Gonna have to push back on #3 “Eating ice cream from the container instead of putting one serving in a dish.” Saving time and dishes in our house is a smart thing:) Thanks Dan for always helping us keep it real.
“Don’t hire stupid people” is great advice a good friend has been sharing for over 40 years as part of his “risk management” teachings. In my “leadership challenges” presentation, I share this advice and then add “And if you do hire stupid people, don’t promote them.” Good post.
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