I don’t care about your lucky socks.

26 10 2015

“My only feeling about superstition is that it’s unlucky to be behind at the end of the game.” ~Duffy Daugherty

“I only had one superstition.  I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.” ~Babe Ruth

Now that we know that the Mets and the Royals will be in the World Series, I thought a couple of sports quotes and a smile might be timely (Go Mets!).  I want to talk today about the difference between habit and superstition.  Your morning routine (brush teeth, shower, deodorant, brush hair, whatever) is a habit.  Wearing the same socks every Tuesday so that you have a good meeting may be a habit, but it’s also a superstition.  Being well groomed (and not smelly!) has a direct impact on how well you do at work.  Wearing old socks doesn’t really impact your success at work, and if you don’t wash them, may have a detrimental one.

The leadership lesson here is that you should spend your office energy on activities that achieve actual results.  Spend your energy ensuring that your project will succeed by thinking through everything that can go wrong, and have a plan to deal with those issues.  That’s way smarter than wearing your lucky socks and hoping that nothing will go wrong, because nothing ever goes wrong on lucky sock day.  While both of these MIGHT end up with a successful outcome, I don’t measure our leaders exclusively by how many jobs they did right, but I also rate and promote them based on how they handle it when something goes wrong… and I don’t care what socks they’re wearing.

Speaking of superstition…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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