I recently took a “personality assessment” for business and was informed that I tend to “value experience too much over data.” I was told the fact like it should bother me, but strangely it really didn’t.
I reflected on the statement for a while and wondered if it was a fatal flaw that might hurt my teams, my clients, or my family. Then I heard this quote and it unlocked it for me.
“You have to ask the right people the right questions to get the right answers.”
I realized data is important but if the wrong people are interpreting it, or we’re asking the wrong questions to the right person because we are too caught up in wanting to look good and smart like we have it all together, we are going to learn the wrong lesson and then we are really hosed. A wizard in data who lacks experience can be sincere, but sincerely wrong – and in our businesses, this can be really expensive!
Have you ever gotten a piece of bad advice from someone who lacked the experience or you asked the wrong question? Have you ever given a bit of bad advice for the same reason?
Here are some of the fun ones (from experience) that came to me while pondering the subject:
Bad Advice Received – When I was newly married (and broke), my wife’s car broke down on the highway. I was told by someone I really respect that I was a “poor husband” if I didn’t go buy her a newer, more reliable car. If I had done this, we would have had to go further into debt and we may not have become debt-free which really helped us when Obamacare passed and the business took some serious unexpected revenue hits.
Bad Advice Given – The time I told my dad not to buy property in Frisco, Texas because “Dallas would never grow that fee north!” Sorry, Dad! But what were you doing taking investment advice from a broke 20-year-old kid? I mean, I probably had just gone signed up for a credit card to get a free pizza! ?
It would be fun to hear your thoughts or any stories of bad advice given or received.
Also… If you have an area of serious expertise where you have a long track record of success, and a wizard at certain types of data, feel free to brag on yourselves. One of us may reach out the next time we need to “get by with a little help from our friends.”
Have a great week!