Perception Can Fool You
Those of you who know me in real life won’t be surprised to learn that the dog in my hands weighs more than 150 pounds. That’s what happens when you are almost seven feet tall and your hands are the size of a baseball glove.
Johnny Cochran would have loved me, because “if the glove don’t fit you must acquit.”
I just stretched the truth.
I do have large hands but I am 5’10 and the puppy in my hands probably weighs around 7 pounds or so. He is about 22 pounds now, which makes him much smaller than his predecessor who weighed about 125 pounds or so.
When I used to take the big guy for a walk people would move out of our way because his size made it clear that he was capable of inflicting significant damage. They rarely move when we walk the little guy.
Except the thing is that Napoleon is much more likely to take a snap at you. If he doesn’t know you he is very cautious and it is prudent to give him a chance to sniff you.
Perception is a funny thing.
Experience Isn’t Always Your Friend
I miss my 19 year-old body and metabolism but I don’t miss the arrogance I had and the belief that I knew enough to get by in any situation. I’ll readily admit it that over time it grew and that by the time I was thirty or so I really felt like I had everything worked out.
The best part of being forty something and having lived a bit more is I know how foolish I was.
And I also know that sometimes experience paints our perspective and prevents us from opening our minds to alternative possibilities.
In business that can kill you.
People like to speak about how inexperience can hurt you but sometimes that certainty that comes from having been around the block is problematic too. Sometimes it is the thing that prevents you from recognizing that you are spending too much time focusing on things that may not be relevant or are not listening to other voices.
There is no magic formula you can rely upon to help you balance between the two positions. I can’t provide you with a perfect solution that you can rely upon that will work every time.
But if we are focused upon marketing and PR I can tell you that sometimes the best thing you can do is take time to speak with your team and try to determine if your perception of the plan is realistic or if it might be skewed.
Sometimes one extra step is the thing that prevents you from having to pull out your crisis communications plan.
What do you think?