Don't Get Suckered by that Sexy Idea

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been sucked in by a cool-sounding idea. They tend to float past at just the moment you think you need them -- when a brilliant move will extend your already great reputation, or when their successful implementation will save you from a problem you're struggling with.

Caveat Emptor -- While the idea might not necessarily be bad, your ability to rationally and dispassionately evaluate it probably is.

Yes, I've made this mistake. More than once.  If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

The problem are the "want" and "need" aspects. When we want and/or need a success, we are pre-disposed to ignore contrary arguments, brush aside risks, listen to advocates, and vilify critics.  And what worst is -- we don't recognize it.  We usually want the "sexy idea" to be the right thing badly enough that our rationality is compromised.  You need a way to know you're in the process of being suckered.

My advice:  Watch carefully for your own criticisms of critics of the project. If you find yourself saying things like: "She's not a team player." or "He's always so negative." you're already pulling the wool over your own eyes.  Attacking the person, and not their argument, is a classic signal that something is wrong with your position.  Remember -- it takes guts to oppose. Agreeing is almost always the easier path. When someone criticizes a direction or path -- especially if they are going against someone higher up in the organization -- there's usually a good reason for it.

In my novel, Deliverables, the protagonist is suckered by CIA agent -- and because he dislikes his boss, and is only to ready to believe the worst about the man, he is an easy target.

One of my former associates used to say: "I love it when the facts and my pre-conceived notions come together". Just make sure when they do, it isn't wishful thinking, or the seduction of a sexy idea driving the convergence.

If you find my blogs interesting, you might enjoy my novels. Check out Leverage, Incentivize, and now Deliverables, too.