False Praise and Mediocrity

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A good friend and I have a running joke: "every woman needs two types of friends during a breakup: the friend who will tell her the guy was a loser and no one ever liked him anyway, and the friend who will tell her that he was a great guy but this is still for the best."

Both types of friends - the ones who will tell you what you want to hear and the ones who will tell you what you need to hear - have a place in life. We would be emotionally out of balance if we only had one or the other.

As far as the wedding industry is concerned, however, the first type of friend is in abundance and we need more of the second friend. Sometimes I see a dozen or more tweets or blog comments telling someone their website redesign is "fabulous" and I wonder if we are looking at the same thing. I hear people tell others that their idea is fantastic and a game-changer, when it is anything but. And most recently, I have seen people launch entire new business ventures, at the advice of others, that have no viable way of making any money.

It is socially acceptable to give false praise, which only results in more mediocrity. Honesty doesn't have to be delivered in a caustic manner, but it does need to be delivered. Blind spots are called that for a reason; you can't see them yourself. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth about your business - even when you don't want to hear it.

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