Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mediocrity is poweful

It´s no secret. If you´ve been in the ¨professional world¨ for at least a week of your life you´ve seen it in action.
CYA. Cover your Ass.
The tactics, to name a few:
- Copy everyone and their dog in an e-mail ¨to make sure everyone is informed¨.
- Repeating ¨we have to¨ and ¨we need to¨ instead of ¨we are going to get this done by this specific date¨.
- Nodding your head like an hypnotized cow in meetings when you don´t know what the hell is being said instead of asking for clarification (many times the person talking doesn´t know what she´s saying either).
- Avoiding to commit to a date for something you know is important ¨because you depend on others¨.

No matter how big the plans or how bold the strategy of a Company, the CYA guy is as powerful as the CEO, cause he is the guy that PREVENTS things from getting done.

The problem: Mediocrity is contagious. And grows exponentially.
Just like y= x³, you get an ever bigger (exponential) increase of mediocrity (y) for a steady increase in the number of people acting that way (x).

The paradox: We all know this. However, at some point, we´ve all seen ourselves there. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week, sometimes for the rest of our ¨careers¨.

We humans are weird beings: we want to do stuff but more often than we´d care to admit end up on the other side of the spectrum when we try. Specially if there are others involved.

Life is too short. No offense, but we can do much much better. We´d get so much more done if we focused on 10 or 20 things.

So I´m in the middle of something to try to contribute. Watch this space.

Oh, and what´s true in business is also true in life.

1 comment:

Duane Tilden said...

Interesting article. I was searching for a good pic for CYA which lead me here. For your consideration... the CYA guy does not necessarily lead to mediocrity if done professionally.

If done right CYA policies can improve productivity, provide jobs, and bring safety to the workplace.

In any event... CYA is good policy.