Don’t Do Stupid Stuff

[May 14, 2019] Anyone interested in beginning their career as a comedian should take full confidence in the fact that there plenty of funny material about stupid stuff people do. We’ve all done stupid things, and those experiences are great for comedians and for learning how to be a better person. Admit our action was stupid, apologize, learn from it, and don’t do it again. Also, laugh a little about it.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” – Benjamin Franklin

I like the Ben Franklin quote and the one attributed to John Wayne that “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” Oh, how many times have I repeated these two quotes? More than I can count. Based on a conversation I had yesterday at a meeting with some local politicians, I thought a short article on the topic ‘don’t-do-stupid-stuff’ would be timely.

Here’s my list of stupid things that you should not do as a leader. Why? Because these things are stupid:

  1. Asking stupid questions (yes, for leaders there are stupid questions).
  2. Not applying common sense.
  3. Failing to keep one’s promises.
  4. Making arbitrary rules.
  5. Being disrespectful, rude, or insolent (just being an ass).
  6. Not listening to what people are saying.
  7. Punishing people for creative solutions.
  8. Rewarding people for bad performance.
  9. Claiming credit for teamwork.
  10. Not sharing all the required information.
  11. Blaming your team or anyone for failures (hint, it’s the leader’s responsibility).
  12. Failure to apply obvious, timely, and proven solutions.
  13. Treating people as untrustworthy or dishonest.
  14. Avoiding conflict.
  15. Turning a blind eye to the important stuff.
  16. Getting drunk or high on drugs (worse, making decisions when you’re drunk or high or selling illegal drugs).
  17. Having extramarital affairs (yep, that will get you into big trouble).
  18. Wanting to be popular and treating everyone with that goal in mind.
  19. Ignoring the experienced opinions of others.
  20. Lying

I’ve held onto an old philosophy of mine since I was a kid and got beat up behind the school when I thought the local bully would come alone to a fight me. I was a little more than annoyed when three boys, larger than me, jumped in to help the bully. My idea was simple. Don’t do stupid stuff; you might get your butt kicked.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff

  1. Max Foster

    The comments might be funny but this is truly serious business. Too many people, especially leaders, are engaged in doing what they often think is right (or will make them popular) and yet completely miss out on doing what should be done in their leadership roles. I would suspect that most of us do the same. Yet, we have survived. We do it by thinking critically, staying focused, working hard, creating and maintaining a well-honed network, staying out of trouble, and being the ‘good guys.”

    1. Jerome Smith

      Good points, again, Max. Thanks for helping us back into line where we should be discussing the serious business of being a great leader and great person. Character counts.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Wait for it ……. wait for it …… yep, I expected Forrest to jump on this subject quickly and he did. Hey thanks a million!

      1. Ronny Fisher

        I’m with you. It was only a matter of time.

  2. Doug Smith

    Loved today’s blog post. I was careful not to be drinking coffee as I read it.

  3. Greg Heyman

    “12 Stupid Things People Care About Way Too Much” by Mark Manson
    Some of this is tongue and cheek. Lots of standard stuff bu the best is ‘being right.’ Who would have thunk it. 🙂

    1. Eric Coda

      I like the one about trying to impress people. Yes, that is really stupid.

    2. Watson Bell

      Good videos out, mostly on YouTube, that shows people doing some really crazy stuff. I would categorize it as ‘stupid’ stuff but some of them actually get into the Darwin Awards (eliminates them from the gene pool, thank goodness).

      1. JT Patterson

        I watched a few earlier today. Very entertaining and very deadly – some of them anyway.

      2. Nick Lighthouse

        I agree that you can find a lot of crazy things on the Internet but that is not where you will learn very much about doing leadership stupid stuff. Only in the pages that Gen. Satterfield produces will you truly find some good things that will make you a better leader.

  4. Army Captain

    Enjoyed your article. Nice list of stupid stuff to NOT do.

    1. Anita

      He he…I was thinking the same thing. But, on the other hand, I made many of these stupid mistakes.

    2. Kenny Foster

      Yeah, Army Captain. I was thinking the same thing. We all make these stupid mistakes. I did plenty of stupid things when I was younger. That’s how we learn; as long as we don’t kill ourselves. Thanks for a great article. I’ll be posting this list on my refrigerator.

  5. Janna Faulkner

    Nice list, yep! Stupid stuff happens. Best not to be the one!

    1. Doug Smith

      I posted it on the bulletin board at work this morning. I’ll see what kind of reaction I get from it.

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