We have been there before. You know that situation when you see people repeating the same mistakes you have made yourself and you think if you advise them that will change their current path. It makes me want to say “Ugh, What the f*@k are you doing?” Most of my colleagues have been there too. However when you are working with startups and people who have their own first business…sometimes you want to tear your hair out. Do you standby and let it roll?
In some situations I will voice my opinion, but there are some situations where you know if you say something it will not work. I have heard it before; “Oh you don’t know our situation” or the best one “That will not happen to us”. History always repeats itself said some very wise man and it is so true.
What do I do in those situations? I let it roll. Sometimes the best lesson is the one you learn yourself. I watch and see people learn for themselves. It works great. You can sense when someone is not responsive to advice. You can see it in their face when you start talking with them. Sometimes I do give it anyway just to see the reaction.
Not to say I am sadistic by any means, but it is sometimes is funny to watch. It is like a sitcom played out for everyone to see. A show. A well written show. Well written because it happened so many times before that there must have been time to make the writing perfect. Sometimes the endings are difference. Most of the time they are the same. Most of the time it is history repeating itself over and over again.
When I do let it roll good things happen. People learn. They comeback and say oh yeah it did happen…”Oh crap!!!!”. Then the “Oh crap” turns to action and action turns to expected results. Other times you just see it in them. A light goes off and then the path changes. A right turn or left (Doctor Who reference). It is rewarding to see.
It is hard to give advice and it is hard to take advice, but how it evolves is fun to watch. Oh startups, a crazy business and oh so exciting. I am glad to be a part of it.
Photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)