Knowing 1000 sophisticated reasons why something can’t be done shouldn’t mean a manager is senior

Yesterday when I was traveling home by train two young guys who seemingly finished their shift in a factory sat down next to me. I was wearing a suit. There was an apparent difference in our dress-codes. I was reading a book about angel investing while they sitting crosswise were exchanging wood blocks being happy they could have taken them for free from a factory. A lady sitting crosswise to me was having fun of the whole situation. I was surprised they were not complaining about anything what I would have expected. One was talking about Beethoven, the other guy was mentioning some interesting documentary movies.

I was thinking: “How many so called sophisticated manager meetings I’ve experienced where there was a discussion about why something can’t be done, what technical parameters prevent a change, what has been tried and did not work.“ These sophisticated arguments seemed to be bulletproof. A result? Zero! Nothing!

During such a meeting even one only person who has no idea about that problematics but is trying to find a solution has the price of gold. If he/she won’t let him/herself get beaten by those “sophisticated” reasons and keeps asking: “ How can we change it?” he/she will definitely face resistance. But if he/she keeps asking such opened questions despite being annoying.. someone may raise his hand and reply: “Well, yeah, he’s actually right, we haven’t tried this because it seemed to be difficult. But it may still work, let’s do it”. And some others will join that idea. And at the end everyone is in for it.

Such a person is a treasure of a team —actually more senior than the most educated and deserving spoilsport of a company.