Saturday, May 24, 2008

Knee Jerks

A complicated proposal is taken to an executive. With barely a glance, he declares, "It will never work. In fact, it will be a disaster."

Granted, there are some proposals in which such a response might be justified. One does not have to eat the entire egg to know that it is rotten. With most matters, however, the executive's reaction is not only unwise on the basis of substance, but also politically inept.

By announcing instant objection to a proposal that holds many pros and cons, he comes across as just as rash as if he'd said, "That's fantastic." By rushing to judgment, he's just devalued the currency of his opinion.

It was Sam Rayburn, the late and great Speaker of the House of Representatives, who observed, "The three most important words in the world are 'Wait a minute.'"

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