Management gurus provide much needed food for thought. It is also their belief. Their success provides them the stature and credentials to state such lofty claims that a specific approach to life allowed them to succeed. It may well be true. Who am I to argue. I am simply providing the flip side of their advice, in real life.
How many people can you name that dropped out of college and created massive success stories? If I was to ask you to name the top ten, you would probably end up naming Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs ermmmmm, run out of names? Exactly. Just because a few people achieved this does not mean we shut down education systems and try our luck.
Similarly, “Don’t tell people, do it” may sound like sage advice but sometimes, one needs to blow their own trumpet. Subtlety may be lost on many and unless they see you making efforts, trying your best and seeing your ambitions, they may not consider you “in the running”.
Another one: “Don’t buy liabilities, buy assets”. Several perspectives on this. If I had money to buy anything, I’m already halfway there. And, sometimes, perceptions about you may be impacted by your “liabilities”. After all, would you sign a multi-million dollar deal with someone who arrives in a broken down Fiat, or a Rolls Royce? At times, buy liabilities too. 😊
“Follow your passions” is advice that could lead you straight to prison as well. 😊 But seriously, it has its advantages. Although, sometimes, opportunities knock on your door with little or nothing to do with your passions. Does one avoid them?
“The power of never giving up is real”. Yes, for sure. But the power to know when to give up is also real. No use flogging a dead horse, right?
“Nobody watches you harder than the people that don’t like you. Give them a show”. Really? Move on, why would you do a show for these people. Disengage. Walk away. Become indifferent. Do not waste your time on them, may be better advice.
The other one is “If you cannot explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself”. Quantum physics / computing, cryptocurrencies via Blockchain backends, black holes….?? Really?
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most. That’s the one that will help you grow.” True, in terms of growth. False, in terms of firm possibilities of debt accumulation via this approach. Scatter / pace your approach across different risk levels. Taking risks is essential in life. But calculated ones.
“A salary is the drug they give you to forget your dreams”. Beautiful sentiments, aptly applied. But, this assumes there are no drug addicts. Also assumes your dreams are not aligned to your career. Lastly, it also assumes that everyone wants to have dreams as an entrepreneur. A majority of people are working, in jobs. Failures? Hmmmm.
What it boils down to is this: Most advice is situational. Live your life.
Whatever these leaders believe in, they do so because they are successful and it worked for them. Does not automatically mean it would work for you too. One size fits all does not apply in real life. Keeping an open mind about “advice” is critical.
Author: Uzair Hassan Uzair.firstname.lastname@example.org
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