I have seen a tendency in some people to take whatever someone says and go with it because “So-and-so said it.” This is true whether we’re talking cooking products, trading securities, or improving oneself through professional development. Don’t do this!
While the personal reputation of someone is something you should consider, it is not the only factor. It’s okay to say, “No,” to advice that doesn’t fit you, even if it’s your favorite person in the whole world giving it.
If you want the logical reasons why, here they are:
- The only person who can completely understand your situation is you, and even that is debatable.
- Everybody is wrong some of the time.
- Even if something offered is a good recommendation or piece of advice, you may already have, or are soon to receive, better.
This reminds me of my early days in Air Force acquisitions. Back then there was a new concept: cost as an independent variable. In other words, price/cost wasn’t the only factor. It also wasn’t excluded as a factor, but should be judged on a scale like every other factor. What we were seeing on too many contract awards was the award went to lowest bid. Whether or not the vendor had failed to deliver on previous contracts, how the vendor’s proposal compared to others’, etc., wasn’t what drove contract award. As a result, we got some shoddy contracted services and equipment. When you rely on a person’s reputation alone, you’re making the same mistake. And that may mean you get some shoddy advice for you. Certainly consider a person’s reputation in what advice you accept, but don’t let it be the only thing that drives your acceptance.