Stupid people drive smart people crazy. It happens in many organizations: There’s a group of stupid people who irritate and anger (to no end) the group of smart people.
You can observe it like the sun in the sky: Smart people, who know how things should be done, who have declared themselves to be the supreme judge of smartness vs. wrongness, lament and fuss and spout their frustrations over those who obviously “don’t get it.”
Interestingly, when you bring the group of stupid people into a room and inform them that, due to their actions, they’ve been deemed the village idiots, they’re shocked! How could this be? Their shouts can be heard in the neighboring room.
Why are they so angry? Because, as you may have predicted, when they were summoned to gather they thought they were in the smart group. Certainly there’s been some sort of mistake! “Can’t you see, I’m smart! I’m smart!”
The mistake isn’t that the smart have been misidentified as stupid. No. It’s something bigger and sadder and more deplorable than we originally thought: It’s the act of judging smart and stupid to begin with that’s caused us so much pain. The destructive habit stands as an obstacle; beyond lies the realization and activation of just how good we can be together.
It’s a case of smart-becomes-stupid-when-we-see-others-as-stupid-at-all.
What is smart when we see “stupid”? (What does leadership look like then?)