Sep 03, 2013

“Fake It ’til You Make It” …

SuitandsadnessI hate the phrase “fake it till you make it.” It’s a fraud. It’s dishonest. It says, “I know that I’m incompetent and I’m hoping that you don’t figure it out and call me on it or, worse, call my boss before I can get enough experience to do what I think I’m supposed to already know how to do.”

This phrase is just wrong on so many levels. Most of all, it is being dishonest with yourself, your subordinates, your peers and your superiors. It says that you think that everybody’s too stupid to figure out that you don’t know what you’re doing and that you’re going to be fast enough in picking up this new set of skills so that by the time anyone does actually figure it out, you’ll be on top of things it. It’s just a bad attitude to go in with, let alone live with day after day.

When I went into my first job in my career, my boss had a phrase that I remember well. He would say, “Judgment is based on experience. Experience is based on bad judgments.” The reality is that some things are only learned by doing something wrong. You can read; you can study; yet you can’t really learn and get better at it unless you’re doing it yourself. And the truth is that nobody starts off doing everything perfectly all the time. You have to make the judgments, good or bad, and learn from each one. This gives you experience that makes all of your future judgments all the better.

Don’t fake it till you make it. Just know that some things are only learned through doing and that bad judgments are part of the experience that will make you better in the end if you can learn from them.

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