Below is a link to a TED talk by Yves Morieux. In the talk, he mentions that Jorgen Vig Knudstrop (CEO of Lego) has a saying, “Blame is not for failure, it is for failing to help or ask[ing] for help.” I agree with that statement, but I would change the second part to “failing to get help”. In that way it would include, “failing to make it easy for others to help you.” I’ve seen this kind of failure. Whether it comes from stubborn pride or a poor character, it’s just sad. Picture a man who can’t swim who has somehow fallen into the sea. Then, when someone comes by to help, the drowning man starts to curse his potential saviour all the while denying that there is anything wrong. How do you help such a person?
In a roundabout way, this reminded me of some advice from a former boss. My boss’s brother was an auto mechanic. From time-to-time a customer would come in to shop with a very strong opinion about what was wrong his car. (It was almost always men who had these unflinching views.) For example, if the car is having fuel injector problems, but the customer might be insisting the mechanic replace the transmission. What should the mechanic do? What if he only fixes the fuel injector, but then, a week later, something really does go wrong with the transmission. The mechanic looks like an idiot. My boss felt that the customer was forcing the mechanic to do work that wasn’t needed. (Assuming the mechanic actually did replace the transmission, he could at least sleep well at night convinced that he only did what the customer wanted.) His advice was don’t be a know-it-all.
So, before I become a know-it-all, I’ll finish with what I take away from this: “Be nice and be humble.”
Here is the TED Talk (12m02s)
Yves Morieux – TED Talk