Ali Salah

Surrounded by Idiots

February 03, 2019

You join a new community. You don’t like its rules and start complaining. They should be stupid to have these rules!

You join a new team. You don’t like the way they work, so you start doing things your own way. I’m surrounded by idiots! They don’t do things my “right” way.

This is called “the prior idiots” phenomenon. And it’s bad for you. You’re not really surrounded by idiots! Life would be better if everyone sees things from the other’s perspective.

For them, you’re a new member. You aren’t trusted by default. Who the hell are you to criticize?! Why would they change how they work because of a new “someone”?!

Also, in most cases, there are valid reasons for why things are the way they are. Reasons you don’t know about yet.

So what could be a better way to make things “right”?

Observe first, build trust, then gradually do things the right way.

Before seeking change, you should observe long enough. Maybe you’re wrong, and there are valid reasons why things are the way they are. Everyone tries to do their best, just like you!

Then try earning trust. They won’t do things your way unless they trust you. Even if you are their officially their boss. Leadership is earned, and you shouldn’t take it for granted!

With every win you get while just doing your job as a team-player, you build trust and gradually transform things into your “right way.”

This post was inspired by this graph


Ali Salah

Hi I'm Ali Salah, a developer & maker. I make cool stuff!
Twitter Github ali@salah.io