Here’s Your Sign

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“Here’s your sign.”

–  The catchphrase for comedian Bill Engvall (b. 1957)* — suggesting that “stupid people should have to wear signs indicating their state of intelligence”

This post is ostensibly about “signs.”  It is not a commentary on people’s intelligence** — although I’m not afraid to risk being canceled.

Let’s have Seth Godin take this one for a bit:  If you didn’t click on that link, I’ll paraphrase — The “Deer Xing” sign by the road is not so the deer will know where to cross the road.  It’s for us to know that deer tend to cross the road in that area and that we might die if we crash into one and it comes flying through our windshield with razor-sharp hooves and a “Holy crap!  I just got hit by a car!” level of panic!

If we’re responsible for putting up signs, Seth urges us, we have to know “who’s it for and what’s it for.”

Rules, policies, procedures — they’re all signs.  So are rituals, cultural norms, and “unwritten rules.”  Who are they for, and what are they for? — and, “Do we need them?  Would we be better off without them?”

If we’re putting up a lot of signs, we might need to hire better, train better or engage differently. If we’re putting up a lot of signs for our Clients, maybe we’re not ready to launch the product or service just yet.

#sethgodin #leadership #signs

* I saw Engvall in Manhattan, KS in his second or third ever live show and walked out saying, “That guy’s gonna make it big!”  I remember it clearly because I was rarely right about such things, back in the day!
**Dad, in his Dick Heston-ism I hear most often in my head, said, “Everyone on earth is stupid except for me and you, and I’m starting to worry about you!”  Man, I miss him more today than I did 18+ years ago…

 

 


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