My favorite flavor of Kool-Aid is Apple…not the green kind, but whatever product or innovation that Apple comes out with each year. Yes, I drink the Apple Kool-Aid. Over the weekend, a product (which I absolutely love) was launched and there was a lot of controversy over the decision of the company to abandon Google Maps and create their own Maps application. In the new system, all of the GPS info wasn’t correct and I guess people couldn’t remember how to get to work or the grocery store or something. The more I read about the issues I thought:
1. Why would people criticize innovation? What’s wrong with wanting to different and no longer having to rely on someone else to do something when you are fully capable of doing it yourself?
2. Who gives a crap if they give you the wrong directions to McDonald’s? Stop being lazy and find it!
3. Loyalty is overrated. With all of the money I’ve spent in the Apple store, I never got a thank you note from Steve Jobs and Tim Cook hasn’t reached out either.
Other than being lazy, why are we so dependent on other people’s resources and knowledge. We would drive off of a bridge or through a wall if the little lady inside of our GPS told us to instead of taking the time to T.H.I.N.K. (as my father-in-law used to say) and figure out where the heck we are and how we got there.
It takes little to no effort and even less thought to hear and then follow blindly. We take the words of our bosses and managers as the gospel without considering motive. We are loyal to a fault to people who do not have our professional interests at heart and are not “programmed” to care about them. We take advice from people who have never walked an inch in our shoes and have no idea how we feel or how we’ve been affected by professional hurdles. We are directed right smack into dead ends instead of being aware of our surroundings and making our own decisions. We wait for our devices to say “Recalculating” instead of putting the vehicle in reverse and speeding off in a different direction. We drink the proverbial Kool-Aid because it’s quick, convenient and artificially sweetened instead of taking the time to consider how we will be affected in the long term, what opportunities we’ll miss out on and how these decisions affect our ultimate goals.
We need more water, literally and figuratively. “High Quality H2O”, for physical health, mental health and professional sanity. We can see right through it and for the most part can see what’s in it. Straight, no chaser. We need it to wash away the impurities of complacency and thoughtlessness. To give us the clarity we need to innovate and become the professional change that we so desperately desire. At the very least, it can give us the strength we need to crash through the dead end wall and create our own path if we can’t navigate around it.