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