November 27, 2019

No more gurus

There is a difference between an expert, whose talent should always be celebrated, and a guru, whose bad ideas should never be questioned.

With few exceptions we should praise experts but be terrified of gurus.

This problem afflicts tech, where several one-time god-like leaders have been revealed to be something between showmen and fraudsters. Or even the innocent version: normal people susceptible to incentives and the desire to maintain a narrative.

Same in investing, where one right call can sustain a subsequent career of unquestioned dart throwing.

And in politics, where a politician who does a few things people support can get those people to nod their heads at lot of things they otherwise wouldn’t.

Success has a way of making those around you question whether they should point out your flaws or question your crazy ideas. This is partly a desire to not damage your career or be rejected from the tribe, and part a flawed assumption that if someone’s crazy ideas in the past turned out to be right, their crazy ideas today must be the same. It can also be driven by the assumption that skill in one field translates to wisdom in all fields.

But guru-ism is dangerous for everyone, for a few reasons.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Share this...