The common wisdom is that all of us together are smarter than any one of us. Combine a group’s brains and their solutions will overcome that of a genius. That’s not my experience. Here’s why one head is often better than several:
1. The smartest person in a group is not the one who gets to talk in a committee. The loudest person does all the talking and steers the ship, often into the rocks. Stupid people are always the most confident and the less a person knows about a subject, the more certain they are of their opinions. That’s called leadership.
2. Take any group and there’s always one wacko*. Said wacko will espouse insane ideas. The rest of the group will then compromise with the wacko, thus arriving at terrible ideas that only seem more sane within the room in which the committee meets. Half wacko is still wacko.
3. People vote for the lesser of two evils, so they still vote for evil.
4. Committees search for reasons to justify their existence. They don’t complete a task and disband. They say, what can we do next? How can we extend our power, budget and egos? I call this committee creep. It’s for creeps.
5. A committee is a team. It becomes an expression of our genetic gravitation to tribalism. Committees become Us Versus Those Peons over there. (For the Latin derivation of the word “peon”, break it down into syllables.)
6. A committee is a way to spread responsibility around. If an individual says, “I made this decision,” he or she will have to live with it. Put it on a group label and everybody’s hiding behind the responsibility diffusion.
7. When I make a decision about my publishing company, a book cover, a sales platform or an editorial choice, it happens immediately. I may consult my friends with expertise or bat ideas around with my graphic designer, but the decisions come fast. I’ve waited long enough. I’m not waiting anymore and I’m certainly not asking for permission. I can screw up on my own easily without help.
8. I mentioned that, without a committee, the fault gets assigned to me for bad, independent decisions. The rewards come straight back to me, too. Then I dance with naked abandon, so it’s good I’m alone at the time.
9. Without a committee, I am in control of my destiny as much as any human is. Sure, there are a lot of whims and variables beyond my control. One of those variables isn’t a pinhead named Mort from Middle Management who’s telling me what to do. Screw Mort.
10. Committees are cooperative ventures that require a lot of socializing, neckties and appropriate office behaviour. I do not share toys. I do not play well with others. I’m writing this in my underwear. There might even be a naked abandon dance party later.
I AM INDIE AND PROUD
*If your group has no wacko, the wacko is you.
And yes, I am qualified to diagnose under the It Takes One to Know One Rule.
~ Like my flavor? Listen to the first chapter of my crime thriller, Bigger Than Jesus. I’m podcasting the book through the summer. Enjoy!
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