Be the one to point out the obvious

I live in a city of a quarter million people, the capital of my state, in a metro area of three million. I live in a peacefully urban area laid out in the early 1900’s with alleys and grid streets.

Ask most people in the country what day is “trash day” in their neighborhood and they can tell you.

I can’t.

Decades ago, under the guise of “free choice and competition will drive prices down” my city decided to allow each property owner to hire their own garbage collection company.

The result? Every day of the week there are at least two garbage trucks that rumble down my alley. There are over twelve different trash collectors serving my area alone. It makes no sense, yet nobody seems to have the guts to say it’s a dumb idea.

It might be a case of “that’s the way it’s always been” which is of course false.

It might be a case of “competition is saving us money” which makes no sense when you consider alley maintenance, smog, fossil fuels, and noise.

I used to work for a wine wholesaler that had an elephant in the room. A dumb idea that was left in place, sapping money (and more importantly, time and energy) endlessly, because nobody had the guts to point at it and say it was a bad idea. This was, of course, because the leadership model of the organization was fear based, so they never got truth out of their people. The elephant just sat in the room, getting bigger.

If you’re going to be remarkable, be the one to point out the obvious. And if you are reprimanded for doing such a simple thing, then look at the messenger, not at yourself. It says more about them than about you.

Be the one to have the guts to say something.

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