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Management ? Success ? Leadership ? Mostly Bullshit. ~Scott Adams


Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Leadership!, #success, Culture, Management, Awesome, Scatology, HBR, Never give up., Correlation is not causation., Growth Mindset, Charisma

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Scott Adams writes:

Sometimes I think the field of management/success/leadership is nothing more than a confusion of correlation for causation. For example, I blogged recently that "passion" isn't so much a cause of success as a result of success, and it grows as the success grows. Success can make anyone passionate about what they are doing. When the experts say we need passion to be successful, that's mostly bullshit.

What you need is energy, talent, hard work, a reasonable plan, and lots of luck.

Company culture is another area that I think the experts get backwards. The common belief is that you need a good company culture to create success. But isn't it more likely that companies with awesome employees get both a good culture and success at the same time? A good corporate culture is a byproduct of doing everything right; it's not thecause of success as much as the outcome.

Success improves culture more than a good culture can cause success.

And how about that charisma thing? That's important, right? Everyone says so. Look at Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Larry Ellison. Those guys have plenty of charisma so it must be important to success, we assume. But let me tell you what causes charisma: success.

I'm in a unique position to judge the success=charisma hypothesis because I slip in and out of famousness all day long. Cartoonists aren't normally recognized, and when I walk into a room as a "normal" I exhibit no charisma whatsoever. I might even be absorbing some charisma that is already in the atmosphere. But when I enter a room at an event where people are expecting me in my capacity as a semi-famous cartoonist, suddenly I appear to have some charisma. I feel like Moses in a room full of water.

Trust me when I say that if Steve Jobs had not been successful so young, he'd be known as the lying asshole who needs a shower, not the guy with the reality distortion field. Charisma is bullshit.

So there you have it.

Success causes charisma, not vice versa.

Wrap THAT in your Harvard Business Review and smoke it.

Also: correlation is not causation.  And for very small data sets, correlation isn't even there.

But in any case, CHARISMA DOES NOT CAUSE SUCCESS.

So the desire to hire charismatic people is a flawed desire.

I think he nailed it - especially with regard to energy. you need that and grit to be successful.  i think charismatic people have that in spades.  and i think they recover - and recover quickly - where other people give up or get paralyzed from failure.

Well said, Christine.

It's better to improve your perseverance, tenacity, and grit, than to work on improving your charisma.

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