Is there room for Captain Obvious?

Captain ObviousSo much of what I see written about leadership, management, and corporate life in publications such as Harvard Business Review, FORTUNE magazine, Fast Company, and others, seems startlingly obvious to me. “Aye, aye, Captain Obvious”-level obvious.

Yet these are well-respected, even venerated, publications.

Which makes me wonder: maybe I’m missing something. (Who, me?!)

It seems some things require repetition for us to really “get” their meaning and importance. The value of a good company culture in attracting and retaining the right people, for instance, or the need to support managers in learning leadership skills (especially in the post-pandemic era) – I see these points made repeatedly in articles, books, and podcast interviews of leading C-level executives.

Why the need for repetition?

Let’s face it: creating and maintaining an intentional culture of inclusion, courage, trust, and creativity is hard work. Work that senior-level executives, insulated from the world of individual employees and first-line managers, may not feel is necessary.

Let’s face it: training first-line managers can be perceived as an expensive, time-consuming effort. But bad managers are what’s truly expensive because they create high employee turnover, reduced productivity, disengagement, all the way to unhappy customers.

And let’s face it: change is challenging, and often creates resistance out of fear and uncertainty about what it will mean. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s often more comfortable to stay with the known discomfort than to venture forward into an unknown, uncertain future – even if that future could be so much better.

And I think we can all look back on our lives and recognize that, whether personally or professionally, there were times when we needed to hear the same thing from multiple sources over time before it really sunk in and pushed us to do something different.

So let’s hear it for repetition and raise a cheer for Captain Obvious. Or, as someone commented on LinkedIn, let’s “Unleash Captain Obvious in 2023!”

Have you heard it enough? Let’s talk. Contact me and we’ll set a time to meet.