Be Real — Stupid Should Hurt!

I recently presented “Leadership is Easy… until it isn’t: Successful leadership in challenging times“to six or seven hundred of my closest friends in San Diego at SHRM’s annual conference.

Both at the conference, and via email since then, I’ve received a hundred or so comments regarding the presentation. All positive so far, thankfully, but that could be misleading. More importantly, some of the specific comments included:

“Great presentation — the part on ‘no whining‘ was really relevant, and HR leaders would do well to take heed.”

“I liked the part about the Three Stupids; took notes on that part for sure.”

“I agree — Stupid should hurt!”

“My biggest take-away was the coaching advice: ‘you don’t really know the limits of your authority until you exceed it.'”

…and many more, with similar positions.

My biggest learning?

We need to spend more time “telling it like it is,” and facing reality head-on. This politically-correct garbage we get entangled with is stifling our abilities to lead with any real success. Stop it! If someone is acting stupid, how about saying “Hey — stop acting stupid!” instead of taking two 20-minute ‘counseling sessions’ to talk around it and make the person feel good in the process?

Why should I care how an idiot feels?

How about “Stop acting stupid — you’ll feel better.”

See, I can be sympathetic.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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