‘Forget about it’ … more Bad Advice

By | January 26, 2019

[January 26, 2019]  In 2007, on my first trip to Brooklyn, New York, I saw a huge traffic sign that read, “Fuhgeddaboudit.”  I thought to myself that it was strange to have an unintelligible word so prominently displayed in this famous city.  Fuhgeddaboudit (i.e., forget about it) is a quote from television character Ralph Kramden of 1955-56 The Honeymooners show.  It’s also the worst advice I’ve ever gotten from another leader.

We’ve all gotten bad advice at one time or another.  Usually, bad advice comes from a well-meaning friend or careless family member.  Advice from our boss in the workplace, however, comes under conditions that could affect our future employment and life.  Thus, most people are willing to take their boss’s advice, even when it appears to be foolish.

“All of us make mistakes.  The key is to acknowledge them, learn, and move on.  The real sin is ignoring mistakes, or worse, seeking to hide them.” – Robert Zoellick, lawyer and past President of the World Bank

Forget about it’ is not too uncommon advice by leaders who have good intentions.  Generally speaking, this is bad advice.  Ignoring a problem or any issue will have unintended but frequently deleterious effects.  The risks of forgetting about things are too irresponsible for a real leader.

I have been personally amazed that so many senior leaders would give such advice.  Is it intellectual laziness?  Is it some unseen moral corruption?  I would like to know the answer, but ultimately the reason is irrelevant.  My advice is simple; never ignore a problem or issue.  To forget about it is to drive off the road of good leadership.

You can watch many of The Honeymooners on the Internet.  Find them on YouTube or other video website specializing in older television shows.  Watching a few is highly recommended.

While this article is not yet part of an official series, there are two other articles on bad advice.1,2  They can be found below.


  1. ‘I want it done Yesterday’ … more Bad Advice
  2. ‘Take Care of It’ … is Bad Advice
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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 “‘Forget about it’ … more Bad Advice

  1. Georgie M.

    Here’s some good advice…don’t lie. A funny quote that I found on the Internet today.
    “Jane Fonda spent more time in Vietnam than Congressman Richard Blumenthal & Nathan Phillips.”

    1. Gil Johnson

      Coughed my milk and cereal up thru my nose when I read your comment. Please stop it (I say sarcastically). Next time, I’ll finish eating before I start reading. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Willie Shrumburger

    Great show, the Honeymooners. Thanks for bringing back the memories.
    Yes, I’ve too been to Brooklyn, NY. So much culture but alas all of NYC is in decline because of the ‘progressive’ policies of their politicians. Terrible public services. Go there and visit before it completely implodes. But don’t live there.

  3. Greg Heyman

    We all get bad advice. But (and this is a big BUT) we learn to filter the bad from the good as kids and well before we grow up. Otherwise, we will be a failed adult in all things. And to show you how right I am about it, just look at any one of your friends who is struggling to succeed in life. That person runs from one piece of advice to another without any distinction. That person needs help and unsuspecting ‘friends’ are helping but not really helping. Just an example.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      “Crazy nutjobs” … I’ve heard that before. Great. You made me smile today.

  4. Darryl Sitterly

    Good article and thank you Gen Satterfield. As I sit here with my dog, my hot cup of coffee, and my newspaper, I find that most people will either 1) not take advice from others at all or 2) will take the advice without any critical thought. Does that mean people are stupid? No, it means most of us are just simply intellectually lazy.

  5. Nick Lighthouse

    Quote, “We’ve all gotten bad advice at one time or another. ” I agree but being a leader is being able to distinguish the bad from the good and take the appropriate action.

  6. Max Foster

    I agree that this too is bad advice, in particular when it comes from one’s “boss.” And remember that bad advice doesn’t have to be directed to be advice. Just hearing your boss talk about things and how he/she thinks things should function is enough to get their INTENT and thus consider it ADVICE.

  7. Janna Faulkner

    Personally, I used to watch the Honeymooners when I was a teenager. All of us gathered around the tv to see Ralph Kramden and his antics. Great show.

    1. Tony B. Custer

      Me too and although I’ve not seen any in a few years, I will watch them if on tv.

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