• 18th December 2008 - By proteman

    As soon as someone says “trust me”, I don’t.

    Maybe I’m cynical. But isn’t the Bernard Madoff case just one more example of how a “guru” or expert pulls the wool over intelligent, well educated people’s eyes with little more than a promise of guaranteed results and entry into an exclusive club of people who “get it”?

    Have you, like I, seen this in business? Someone with a thick PowerPoint deck, mounds of data and models that no one understands, complex explanations of simple things or a beefy resume casts a spell on those around him or her. Those who challenge the experts’ promises and think they sound fishy are either denied access to the club – or accused of not understanding. I read that some Madoff supporters, when challenged about his too-good-to-be-true returns, said about Madoff, “he’s just smarter than you and me” (or something to that effect).

    This is a good cautionary reminder to all of us in business – and particularly those who hire experts or buy training solutions. When an “expert” offers you a training program that promises “500% returns”, a quick fix to your team’s motivational problems, or a performance management software solution that will fix your workforce issues – run away. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust but verify…

    Anyone willing to admit being swept off of their feet by a guru or expert who promised results, but couldn’t deliver? Please share. It’s happened to the best of us.
    Copyright 2008. Phyllis Roteman. The Loyalty Group. Sherman Oaks, CA.
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