Tag: discussion

what could be worse than failure?


I like to keep score. There, I said it. Not just with games (I generally dislike games with subjective scoring methods by the way) but with regular life. And not just against others, but in more general terms I ask myself how I’m doing with something. “Am I doing a good job? Am I working hard? Was that last meeting successful?”

Do you do that too? Maybe you give yourself a score at work, volunteer organization, church or sports team. Whatever the place is might be irrelevant for now but many of us have mentally given ourselves an A+, C- or even pass/fail grade for some of the things we do.

Now, this next thought is very incomplete so don’t shoot me, but within all those organizations there are various actions that we could grade ourselves on. For simplicity we’ll call them boxes that need to be checked; Attendance, work ethic, input given, relationships built, win/loss record, belief, knowledge gained, concern for others, orderliness, timeliness, and many others. Check Check Check!

Two questions I’ve considered recently in this regard:

Should I be grading myself on a curve? This decision will greatly impact the outcome of participation. Some times and in some places it IS good to compare to others and determine the grade/score/performance as something framed in the context of the group. Some times it is not.

What if I’ve been checking the wrong boxes? I’ll put it like this… an A+/pass/excellent grade doing the wrong things ain’t good. I may be giving myself a great score at checking these boxes. Maybe I should spend more time looking at value of the boxes themselves, rather than my current score.

The only thing worse than failure is massive success at something that doesn’t matter


Save a Spot for The Devil’s Advocate

dev·il’s advocate (dvlz)


1. One who argues against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent but simply for the sake of argument or to determine the validity of the cause or position.
I was at an event hosted by a fantastic group of positive people the other night. There were lots of business owners packed in to the venue to discuss big ideas, how to connect with customers, how to represent themselves and their businesses better, etc… The time was specifically designed to talk about concepts, not necessarily the execution of said concepts.
But in every crowd there’s always a skeptic, right? Well, there was in this one.

The Devil's Advocate
Does every discussion need a devil??
It was a bit deflating for a few moments as the gentleman interrupted the speaker, inserted himself into the presentation, and among other things said he was “looking for something more realistic than all this speculation”. He was quite snarky and made his disapproval was apparent to all. Really??
Discussion from multiple points of view is a good thing and powerful for everyone. BUT I propose that in some settings the Devil’s Advocate should be left out. Business professionals who network, go to seminars and read good books are certainly faced with plenty of opposing viewpoints already, so it would be great if there were at least a few times and places where the skeptic, the negative guy, the Devil’s Advocate were shut out.