Consulting guru and advisor Alan Weiss constantly tells people not to pay attention to random, unsolicited feedback. This makes so much sense and yet most people will let someone’s uneducated comments influence their decisions.
Just think if sports coaches and managers did this. They’d be making decisions based on what idiots have to say. Some examples:
- At a recent Mariners game the guy next to me tried to show his knowledge by telling his friends, with a look of superiority (I’m smarter than the manager) on his face “We’re using our backup catcher as the DH. If our catcher gets hurt we lose the DH.” Okay, so when’s the last time anybody’s seen a catcher get hurt during a game. Pretty darn slim chance of that happening.
- At another game the M’s pitcher was having a tough time. Starting in the third inning fans started yelling, “Get him out of there.” Now when you’re down by about seven runs early in the game and have a weak-hitting team the manager’s attention probably turned to saving his bullpen for future games and letting his starter get some innings.
- Football has similar stories, especially compared to point two above. All fans think the goal of their team should be to win the Super Bowl (and it is the ultimate goal) the real goal is to make the playoffs. When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl this year they were just the second team in the last 10 years with home field advantage during the playoffs to win it all. Those other eight years, including a handful of wildcard teams, the goal of making the playoffs and be primed when there worked. The coaches coached for the long season.
The point of all this is to be careful about what you hear. It may be short-term thinking, uneducated insights or simply blowhards expanding hot air.