Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Huainanzi - Entry 61

Trey Smith

Useful suggestions should not be rejected just because they come from people in low positions, nor should useless suggestions be followed just because they come from people in high positions. Right and wrong are not a question of social status.
~ a passage from
The Book of Leadership and Strategy by Thomas Cleary ~
There's a TV commercial from a national pizza chain that made me think of this passage from the Huainanzi. The CEO from the chain remarks that a new product they are featuring didn't come from their test kitchen; it came from a manager of one of their restaurants.

Who knows if this is true or just some commercial gimmick, but, in the ad, the CEO acts surprised that one of his underlings -- someone far down the ladder -- came up with such a winning idea.

I think most people who ever have worked for a big company or agency know how hard it is to get the higher ups to listen to you. If you happen to be a front line worker, the general sentiment is that winning ideas or strategies only can come from those at the top of the pyramid. Your job simply is to implement their vision and to leave the thinking to the executives!

To read the introduction to this ongoing series, go here.

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