Are You Willing To Look Foolish?

Michael Schechter:

Accepting that you’re going to suck is important. Starting anything new or even improving at what you’re already doing is often frustrating and difficult, but doing it publicly is where it can become outright embarrassing. And this is where I’m starting to believe that it’s actually my “willingness to look foolish” that will inevitably prove to be my secret (success is still a ways off in my book).

This is an important differentiation. One thing that being “willing to look foolish” gets you that “willing to suck” doesn’t is feeling confident doing things you know is right and good even though it might not be what’s expected of you. Maybe like a speech that’s unconventional or deciding that you’re going to run your meetings differently or manage email in a different way. There’s a chance that you might not suck at it but people will still think you’re foolish for going against the culture they expect and understand. Be OK with that.