It's wrong to be right

Date: 2nd November 2012  |  Author: Sean Toomer

I just read a book: ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ by Paul Arden. Buy it (not a recommendation, just do it). It’s bad ass. Here’s a snippet that caught my eye.

“It’s wrong to be right

Being right is based upon knowledge and experience and is often provable.
Knowledge comes from the past, so it’s safe. It is also out of date. It’s the opposite of originality.

Experience is built from solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones so that old solutions will have to be bent to fit new problems (and possibly fit badly). Also the likelihood is that, if you’ve got the experience, you’ll probably use it.

This is lazy.

Experience is the opposite of being creative.
If you can prove you’re right, you’re set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people.

Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas. You are rooted in your own rightness, which is arrogant. Arrogance is a valuable tool, but only used sparingly.

Worst of all, being right has a tone of morality about it. To be anything else sounds weak or fallible, and people who are right would hate to be thought fallible.

So: it’s wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug.

There’s no talking to them.”

This book, simply, is fucking fantastic!

I like to think I’ve always been one to take responsibility for my actions, in every respect and this part here sums up why you should do this.

I’ve always been against those businesses that only have experience to rely on.  Have you ever asked someone ‘Why are you better than your competition? /Why should I choose you?’ and the answer has been ‘I have 20/30/40 years experience – I’m the best’.

This shows otherwise and I concur, 100%.  Anything above 10, maybe 15 years experience is too much for me. By this point you’re tired, lazy and as this rightly points out, arrogant. By that point, you don’t need to work; your role should change to teach others (employees) your craft. Teach others who are hungry, creative, agile and would do anything to be the best. Then rinse & repeat.

Buy the book. If you don’t like it, I’ll give you the money back. Plus, the page after this is called ‘It’s right to be wrong’ and is equally awesome

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