Monday, March 15, 2010

The Arrogance of the New

Being the new appointee or the holder of new ideas can cause a certain arrogance.

The new chief executive who is brought in to fix a problem may be tempted to think that his or her predecessor overlooked various approaches or was insufficiently bold. Those thoughts are sparked by the reasonable belief that each of us possesses a unique blend of talents. With all due respect to those who came before, we know that even exceptional performers will miss or fumble opportunities.

As understandable as that attitude may be, it is also dangerous. Beneath the surface is a failure to pay sufficient deference to the intelligence of others. That failure can lead to a misreading of the situation and an inability to address the world as it really is. When that arises, serious thought takes a detour. If the decision maker is fortunate, the detour will be quickly noticed and the path re-traced. We can spend a sizable amount of our lives painfully learning the truths that were discovered by our predecessors. It is only when we have a clear view of them that we can wisely decide whether a new path is warranted.

1 comment:

Eclecticity said...