That's how people talk at my work. Makes me want to leap out my 32nd floor window.
I thought I'd do a post about work today (mostly because we are still waiting for our next cycle to start, and my wife is in a good mood, which leaves me zilch to write about - and I love the sound of my own typing, just like every other blogger).
Anyway, I work in institutional investment management - private equity, specifically. I'm actually fairly senior (alot of you are thinking back on my 'passed out on the couch with scotch' post and wondering "how can that be?"). Well, it can be. And it is.
Like most businesses, this business is very complicated. Unlike many other businesses, it is populated by people who are not passionate about the work per se, but are rather passionate about making gobs of cash. Moolah. Jack. Do re mi. You dig? That does not apply to me, however. Don't get me wrong, I love money...but there are things I love about this business. Working with entrepreneurs, and helping to build businesses...it's actually quite a bit of fun, and very interesting. However, the fact that I am driven less by financial gain than by intellectual gain has a negative impact on my w-2 at year end, I assure you. But I do get to associate myself with VERY smart people. I'm talking PhDs, former intelligence officers, investment gurus, etc.
But that's the just the thing. Some of these people are so smart, that they refuse to entertain the idea that there is something about this business that they do not understand. Everyone is desperately afraid of looking stupid. But the truth of the matter is, everyone really only gets about 10% of this business. Seriously. Thing is, if you have 10 people in a room, everyone understands a different 10% than everyone else. You might think "perfect, there is knowledge of 100% of the industry in that room". Not how it works. Everyone in the room is desperately trying to convince other people that they understand the 90% that the other person does not understand. And since that other person doesn't get that 90%, how can they refute the other guy, who claims to understand?
Also, people spend 99% of every meeting trying to steer the conversation back to that 10% portion of the business that they themselves understand, regardless of whether it is relevant to the agenda of the meeting.
Guess what get accomplished while all this tomfoolery goes on?
You guessed it....NOTHING.
And the sad reality is that the people who climb to the top, and who get to run the entire organization, are not the smartest people. They are simply the ones who did the best job of either 1) convincing the other 9 people in the room that they understood the 90% of the business that those others did not understand, or 2) convincing all 10 people that understanding NONE of the business is actually the way to go.
Have a nice Tuesday.