Now taken to excess the message of this offer from Hugh could too easily be seen as an excuse for bad behaviour, but its also all too true. Very few inventors, original artists or novel thinkers have proved popular. Herd behaviour is too often rewarded in our societies and never more than politics, where popularity outshines (I should really say out-shadows) competence. As I get older I get less tolerant of idiots, but I reserve a special place for those who always want everyone to be be nice (the most truly terrible word in the English language.
Of course one should not court unpopularity for its own sake, but anyone seeking to be different needs to be reconciled to the fact that at the end of the day some people will hate you for disturbing their precious peace. As measurement systems swing into place orthodoxy tends to be rewarded over originality. Think of the way academics have to conform with the orthodoxies of the dominant journals in their field.
At a recent session with a few CEOs I has asked for my three ideas that would help them cope with uncertainty. I don’t what they expected but I said:
To those consultants and facilitators who dislike dissent and seek the safety of bland conformity and consensus; I suggest your problem is that you don’t really understand your field, you can’t cope with examination of your knowledge and you are, to use a very 70s word inauthentic.
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