“I cannot judge what he did, because I did not have his information”.
A particularly sage comment from the then 82-year-old Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore.
Judgement is in many ways the same as advice. When we give advice, it is from our perspective, which is always different from the person receiving it. Regardless of how empathetic we are.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve talked to a founder or CEO who asks what s/he needs to do to replicate what we had in Conchango, the very successful consultancy / agency that I was privileged to play a part of the leadership of. Or who assume that I would rush to advise exactly what we did there.
My approach is always the same. “That’s the wrong question. You should be asking how to build the best ‘x’ that you can.”
Because it is \*always\* different.
Much of what worked there won’t work here, of what worked then won’t work now, of what worked for those people there won’t work for these people here.
So what do I take from this?
First, if you’re giving advice, apply the same level of caution to advising someone as you would to judging them.
Second, if you’re asking for advice from someone whose experience and curiosity warrants it, absolutely be open to it. But ALWAYS remember that it is up to you to decide what to do with that advice.
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