Doc and cargo cult science…

Today, is Doc’s fourth day as a BTL intern. As we drove to our third practice today, he looked over at me and shared something really telling. He told me he has thought more in four days at BTL than he thought this past semester. He said he’s loving it but he’s going home really, really tired and it’s not from the 3PP workouts, it’s from his brain being drained.

Leader, learn from this. Your team doesn’t need another lecture. We may absorb knowledge when lectured, emphasis on may. We learn when we are forced to think and do something, actively, with our learning. Learning is active. As I write this rant, Doc is sitting to my right writing away. He’s learning. Today, he’s gonna be really tired ’cause we’ve still got three more practices to go.

Leader, get your team tired. Get tired with them. Make them think. If you don’t want them queuing up outside your door, you’d better get better at asking questions like Richard Feynman did back in the day. Most of you, leader, are leading teams that are building runways, starting fires, wondering why the planes aren’t showing up, and overwhelmed working really hard, not necessarily really smart. I’ll leave you with this thought to see if you can tie together the loose ends. Warning. This will require you to think.

“In the South Seas there is a cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to make thinks like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas – he’s the controller – and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things Cargo Cult Science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because planes don’t land.” Richard Feynman

Make your team think, friend. Like Doc, it may hurt for awhile. Good…

1 thought on “Doc and cargo cult science…

  1. When I was first recommended to BTL (by Jeff L), I questioned the ROI on the cash. Then chet sent me a list of questions that drained my brain, and made me think deeper than I had in years. I got my ROI just from those first questions.

    Brain drain, body drain, heart drain, passion drain. Achieving hard goals is hard. Acheiving insainly impossible goals is even a little bit harder. Make it hurt so good. Impossible is kinda fun.

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