Being Right Is Overrated

It doesn’t matter if you’re right or if I’m right. Let’s just get it right.CARGO, LLC

Mature leaders understand that being right is overrated. In fact, when you are a leader, if you are always “right,” you may end up hurting those around you and cause harm to your organization. When you are the one who is always “right,” over time you demoralize and demotivate those around you.

A hundred years ago, in the heyday of the industrial revolution, the pervasive management perspective was, “The boss is always right.” In those legacy environments, subordinates looked to the boss as the primary or sole generator of ideas. I will bet you, however, that under their breath, many of their direct reports were thinking, “What a chump. My idea is better!” Here’s the thing…even when we as leaders do have the best ideas, they are never going to get implemented in an optimum fashion if those responsible for implementation feel no real ownership. Someone once said, “Inspiration precedes perspiration,” and I have learned that if you want to secure everyone’s best effort, engage them at the ideation stage rather than at the implementation stage. Me being “right” all the time constrains collaboration, dismisses others’ ideas, limits creativity, breeds arrogance, puts others off, and makes me seem unapproachable. It creates a culture where my idea is best and yours is second best. Or worse, it makes your idea wrong. The smart leader realizes that there are times when being unified is more important than being right!

Let me give you an example. Ages ago I worked for a company named Right Source, leading their expansion into Europe. We had embarked on a “technology tour” delivering live demonstrations to introduce to new markets our customers’ solutions. Success bred success, and six city tours became twelve city tours, and each one took us farther and farther afield from our home base in the Netherlands. Early in our tenure, we recruited a young Hollander, Cyriel Blezer. As our business expanded, we needed additional tour managers, and despite having been hired into a different role, Cyriel was the most experienced person at hand. When I told Cyriel that he was going to be the tour manager, I asked for a plan on how he would staff and organize the tour. He produced one almost immediately, but when reviewing Cyriel’s detailed plan, I found it very different from the way that we had organized tours in the US, especially from a travel and logistics perspective. The crisscrossing of countries looked very inefficient to me. I told Cyriel as much, going so far as to say, “I just don’t see how this approach is practical. I can think of two or three better ways that I would organize this project.”

Cyriel replied, “Toby, no disrespect, but you’re not from Europe. This isn’t like the United States. The presentations, venue, and catering will need to align with the culture, customs, and tastes of each location. And we need to sequence events according to the language that will be used in the presentation, not by the proximity of the venues to each other. The people I’ve recruited for this project understand the fact that Europe is a collection of very diverse countries and environments, and we are confident this approach will succeed.”

I asked Cyriel to let me sleep on his proposal. The next morning, I told him, “I still don’t know if you’re right or not, but one thing I do know is that you seem absolutely convinced your plan will work. We’re going to run this tour your way, but you dadgum better be right.” The end result was that the tour that Cyriel organized was one of the most profitable we ever ran. My experience with Cyriel taught me a lesson—a mantra—that I have never forgotten: It doesn’t matter if you’re right or if I’m right. Let’s just get it right.

When you draw upon the experience and expertise of a diverse, capable, dedicated group of individuals around you, the more all of the team feel valued and motivated. When team members’ ideas are heard and implemented, they take pride in their work. They see the enterprise as an extension of themselves. To excel, an organization needs leaders who inspire others to extraordinary performance, and the most important five words we need to know, believe, and use to be that kind of leader is, “Let’s do it your way.”

Ranking The NBA’s Most Overrated Players Of The Last 5 Years

Ranking the NBA’s Most Overrated Players of the Last 5 Years

0 of 5RJ BarrettNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

This a touchy subject, and it’s almost entirely subjective, but every major sports league (including the NBA) contains players who are overrated.

Determining who qualifies depends on a number of factors. Do they get too many minutes on the floor? Are they overpaid? Is there a general public sentiment that disagrees with the numbers?

Players who check one or more of those boxes are in the mix, but again, this is subjective. We may have a similar perception of a player, while I think of him as overrated while you see him as properly rated.

And a common theme on this year’s list is youth. Most (if not all) of these players have plenty of time to improve. Inclusion here isn’t permanent.

To this point, though, based on a half-decade of evidence, these are the game’s most overrated players.5. Luguentz Dort

1 of 5David Berding/Getty Images

Luguentz Dort is mostly lauded for his defense, and that’s probably warranted.

Dunks and Threes’ defensive estimated plus-minus (one of the most trusted catch-all metrics in NBA front offices) has had him in the 83rd percentile or better in each of his four seasons.

And his defense has been more than enough to overcome his offense and make him a generally positive-impact player, at least according to that system.

But Dort, 24, has been one of the worst high-volume shooters in the NBA during his career.

Among the 69 players who’ve taken at least as many threes during Dort’s four seasons, he’s tied with RJ Barrett for 67th in effective field-goal percentage (only Dillon Brooks is worse).

Dort’s 47.6 mark there is 6.2 points shy of the league average.

And he doesn’t do a ton outside of trying to score to help his offensive impact. Among the 394 players with at least 2,000 minutes during his career, he’s tied for 284th in assist percentage.

Of course, there may not be many people who perceive Dort as a future star. And he’s on a very manageable contract (especially with the incoming increases of the salary cap). Those things limit his “overratedness,” but the offensive woes are more pronounced than they’re given credit for.4. Gabe Vincent

2 of 5Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Gabe Vincent is coming off a solid playoff run in which he started all 22 games he played, averaged 12.7 points, shot 37.8 percent from deep and helped the Miami Heat make the NBA Finals.

That was enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to give him a three-year, $33 million contract and have ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins call them the winners of the summer for signing him.

(He also declared Vincent as Miami’s second-best player, but we’ll leave that one alone for now).

Vincent for the full mid-level exception is probably a fine bit of business, and he could well continue to play at the level he did during the 2023 playoffs, but he isn’t likely to start in L.A. And his career numbers suggest that postseason run may be an outlier.

Vincent is 27 years old and has career marks of 7.7 points per game with a 49.9 two-point percentage and a 33.9 three-point percentage.

And while those are definitely dragged down by two seasons in which he was fighting for his life, his 2022-23 stats aren’t much better: 9.4 points with a 51.2 two-point percentage and a 33.4 three-point percentage.

Those numbers in combination with the fact that Vincent is an undersized guard makes it difficult to celebrate his signing with the same enthusiasm that others in the media have.3. De’Andre Hunter

3 of 5Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft, De’Andre Hunter has started all but six of his career games with the Atlanta Hawks.

As recently as last summer, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he and Trae Young were the only untouchables on the Hawks roster.

He’s even been compared to Kawhi Leonard.

But the reality of Hunter hasn’t quite lived up to any of that. A 13.9-point career scoring average is solid, but his three-point percentage is below average, and his ancillary contributions are almost nonexistent.

Among the 394 players with 2,000-plus minutes during his career, he’s tied for 341st in assist percentage. Since bringing up that rank may not be fair (given the fact that he plays with Young), it’s also worth noting that he’s 255th in that group in rebounding percentage, 341st in steal percentage and 268th in block percentage.

In other words, Hunter has to do more to warrant his position in the core of a team that should be a perennial playoff team with Young on the books.2. RJ Barrett

4 of 5Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Career averages of 18.1 points and 2.8 assists for a 23-year-old player with 270 starts sounds great, but RJ Barrett has been one of the worst shooters in basketball over the course of his career.

And his overall impact on plus-minus has been absolutely dreadful for the New York Knicks.

During his four seasons, only 15 players have logged more total minutes than Barrett, and that might actually contribute to his rank in points added by field-goal shooting, defined by Basketball Reference as “The number of extra points added by Field Goal Attempts made above league average.”

Without free throws, Barrett has scored 3,958 points on 4,157 shot attempts, or 503.4 fewer than a league-average shooter would have. The only player further below zero during his career is Russell Westbrook, who is obviously doing a lot more as a passer and rebounder than Barrett.

And regarding that plus-minus impact, the Knicks are minus-1.9 points points per 100 possessions with him on the floor over his four seasons, compared to plus-3.9 without him.

The whole time, he’s been held up as a franchise cornerstone (or at least a potential one).

Again, there’s still time for Barrett to improve. He’s only 23 and has shown hints of point forward potential. But so far, it’s been bad.1. Dillon Brooks

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Despite famously “poking a bear” and almost immediately getting mauled by one in the playoffs, the Houston Rockets signed Dillon Brooks to a four-year, $86 million deal this summer.

It seems like a hefty price to pay for perhaps the worst volume shooter in the NBA. Over the last five years, he’s dead last in effective field-goal percentage among players with at least as many shot attempts. And that inaccuracy certainly hasn’t made him bashful.

Over the same time period, Brooks is 53rd in usage percentage (among 388 players with at least 2,500 minutes). About a quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies’ possessions with Brooks on the floor ended with a shot, turnover or trip to the line for one of the game’s worst shooters.

Fortunately for his sake, he was often on the floor with high-end offensive talents like Ja Morant and Desmond Bane, but his flaws (and overconfidence) may shine a little brighter on a rebuilding team like the Houston Rockets.

Is Following Your Work Passion Overrated?

Follow your passion. It’s perhaps the most common advice given to job seekers. The implication: You can only be your best at work when you’re doing something you truly love.

Yet according to a growing body of research, an overemphasis on passion for one’s work can be detrimental in a number of ways.

“It doesn’t provide an opportunity to develop an identity outside of work,” said Erin Cech, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. “In addition, employers who prioritize passion expect people to give more time and energy without being paid more.”

While the idea that a job need not be a calling is not new, experts said the pandemic and the changes it advanced in the working world might be encouraging people to rethink what passion for a job really means.

“We’ve been told that you can self-fulfill only through work, but people are beginning to see there are other aspects of life as important or more important than work,” said Jae Yun Kim, an assistant professor of business ethics at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. “People are beginning to treat work as work, and that’s a good sign.”

Before the 1970s, passion was not a priority for job seekers, said Professor Cech, who is the author of “The Trouble With Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality.” Rather, the focus was on decent pay, hours and security, and if there was fulfillment, it came later as you became more skilled at the job.

But that started changing in the ’70s, with the increasing job instability of professionals and a growing cultural emphasis on self-expression and self-satisfaction, a change captured in the wildly popular 1970 book “What Color Is Your Parachute?”

Notably, worrying about whether your job will fulfill you applies mostly to the privileged white-collar world. “The majority of people do not work to self-actualize,” said Simone Stolzoff, who wrote the book “The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life From Work.” “They work to survive.”

It’s also important to consider the price you may be paying for loving your job. An article in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which Professor Kim contributed to, looked at seven studies and a meta-analysis and found that passion can be used to legitimize “unfair and demeaning management practices,” including asking employees to work extra hours without pay, work on weekends and handle unrelated tasks that are not part of the job.

One of the studies found that managers from various industries perceived that subordinates who seemed more passionate about their jobs than their colleagues “would be more likely to volunteer for extra work (for no extra compensation) and be rewarded by work, and this in turn predicted increased legitimization of exploiting” that worker.

This doesn’t just apply to individuals, but entire professions, such as creative or caring fields, where people are presumed to have “a calling” that can compensate for lower salaries: nursing or teaching, for example.

Maggie Perkins doesn’t need academic research to understand the connection between passion for work and exploitation. Ms. Perkins, 31, was a middle school and high school teacher for eight years in Florida and Georgia. Her public announcement on TikTok that she had quit her job and was happier working as an entry-level employee at Costco garnered media attention and millions of views.

Six months later, that sentiment remains. “I fully believe that the education system rests on exploitation of teacher labor, even in places with strong unions,” Ms. Perkins said, adding that low pay, as well as diminishing autonomy over her teaching, drove her out of the profession.

“I was definitely cut out for teaching,” she said. “But I had to choose between myself and losing myself.” (She was recently promoted at Costco to corporate trainer.)

Choosing a major or a career based on passion can also reinforce gender stereotypes, said Sapna Cheryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Several studies she and her colleagues conducted found that when undergraduates were asked to select majors or occupations based on the advice “follow your passion” the answers fell into traditional roles: Men more typically chose computer and engineering fields and women more often opted for art or helping people, for example.

If instead they were asked to select a career based on job security and salary or to choose one focused on caring or nurturing others, this gender difference narrowed significantly, she said. The findings did not vary based on race or income, Professor Cheryan added.

While the intertwining of passion and career does exist in other countries, it is particularly strong in the United States, experts said, with its emphasis on individualism, the importance of work and relative lack of strong labor movements.

One way to determine if you have tipped over into what Taha Yasseri, an associate professor of sociology at University College Dublin, called “obsessive passion” — when your career overshadows all other parts of your life — is to ask yourself if you’re able to switch off your job and focus on family, hobbies or other parts of your life. If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your priorities.

That’s what Alex, 27, did. (He requested that his surname not be published for fear of appearing less than passionate about his job.) For about three years, Alex worked at least 60-hour weeks at his job as a supply chain manager for a Fortune 500 company. He has always been driven and “I found myself addicted to the workplace, addicted to my job and, looking back, it was very unhealthy,” he said, adding that his relationship with his girlfriend suffered as well.

When he was promoted and moved to a new state, he decided to dial back to a more manageable 40 hours a week. He noted that he still got the same positive performance reviews without the intense working hours or constant worrying.

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