Friday, August 22, 2008

Why do people refuse to learn or take advice? Is this why executive turnover is so high?

It is a cliche that teenagers do not listen to parents. We make jokes about how they do not ask for or take advice. Yet, there is truth also in the saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." As people get older, they genuinely do resist change. So many learn a really bad habit. They ask for advice, yet never take it. Worse still, they do not respond and engage in a discussion, but behave in a passive-aggressive way by asking for advice, yet simply ignoring it. They do not want to change the way they do things.

I have never understood why people do not take pride in seeking advice and then really changing the way in which they do things. They think that if they simply ignore it, it will go away. You see it in the TV programs in which an expert goes into a failing company and provide the solution. Yet, usually, the management or owner simply ignore it. As a consultant, I see it every day - executives are in trouble, they know they are in trouble (or perhaps not, which is one reason why executive turnover is so high), but they will not ask for help and take it.

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