Big Red Car here. The Boss got me out of bed early this morning, so I am inspired to write.
Today we shall chat about bad advice. I was eavesdropping on The Boss at Taco Deli the other day.
The Boss was talking to one of his brilliant CEOs who was trying to solve a thorny problem. It was one The Boss had wrestled with a thousand times in 33+ years of CEOing. Big but normal issue.
First time for the brilliant young startup CEO and founder.
The brilliant startup CEO told The Boss his proposed solution. The Boss snorted coffee through his nose (triple espresso latte with soy milk).
“Where did you get that idea?” sayeth The Boss.
“An adviser told me to do it,” said the CEO.
“Really? That’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard. You could easily get fired if you did that,” said The Boss.
The Big Red Car sayeth: “There is no shortage of bad advice out there.”
Upon inspection, The Boss determined that the advisor was a pretty slick fellow, had a wonderful website, had written several whitepapers and had a lot of nice quotes.
He had one flaw: HE HAD NEVER ACTUALLY BEEN A CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER. He had been a management consultant and an accountant.
If you are going to seek advice, as a CEO or founder or entrepreneur, seek advice from someone who has actually been a CEO, founder or an entrepreneur. Better still all three.
Make this your minimum requirement. The person giving you the advice has real world experience in what you are dealing with. Please.
The Boss got the brilliant young CEO on the right path. The problem was solved. It was easy. It worked as advertised because The Boss had literally dealt with the same thing hundreds of times before.
Wisdom is the consistent application of good judgment over a protracted period of time.
Good judgment is the product of hard earned experience.
Experience is often the product of very expensive bad judgment.
Rent wisdom whenever you can. It’s much cheaper.
If YOU have a problem, rent The Boss’s wisdom. It is much cheaper than bad advice. The SOB has been doing it for a third of a century. Call him at 512-656-1383 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him a Big Red Car sent you.