Friday, October 9, 2009

Finally, good advice to be successful

I've got one word for you. Plastics.

I don't have good advice. I tricked you, as so many others have before. In my defense, at least I'm willing to admit the charade.

I'm pretty frustrated by the "helpful" advice we get from friends, colleagues, parents, teachers, guidance counsellors, professors, supervisors, people that are older than you, people that have some sort of societal status... I'm sure you have more to add to the list.

It is soooo hard to discern good advice from bad. You can't tell from tone of voice, cut of clothes or the number of degrees on their wall. Seeing material evidence of their success or media coverage of their latest coup doesn't actually mean anything, either.

Whatever they say, you're still confronted with an individual that is giving well-meaning advice about a future they can't predict.

I'm in a unique role now to see LOTS of people who have listened to LOTS of well-meaning advice and are still struggling to find success, to get work or to feel valued. All those people that provided advice with gentle eyes and a hand on the shoulder? They didn't know. They just thought they knew. From a paradigm of "my position requires me to groom, control and cultivate," they sold a Nigerian inheritance.

I'm thinking it would be more helpful if they said, "I don't know what's needed. I've had a long and full life with a particular strategy for adding value, but I'm not sure it's relevant anymore. I think the only thing I can encourage you to do is ready yourself for a lot more change. Be ready, willing and adaptable."

THAT would have saved me some time... if I listened to it.

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