Peacocks, GURUs and Advice

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Peacocks, GURUs and Advice


Peacocks are a particularly daft bird. They are all mouth and pretty feathers but an absolute pain in the neck to be around, (apologies to peacock lovers everywhere.) I don’t really hate peacocks but their less than admirable qualities do remind me of some of the gurus I have met along my merry way who have tried to give me their “help.”

Don’t misunderstand me, I am very open to help when genuinely offered. You can’t be an expert in everything and all of us can use advice now and again. I feel strongly about asking for help, and even stronger about giving it whenever you can, but it has to come from the right place and when you meet a peacock, its not coming from there.

I can recall, without effort, at least three peacocks I have met recently, all of whom were successful in their own right. All of whom had large and loyal followings online and elsewhere and all of whom assumed that everyone needed the same advice.

When you’re selling your services you can’t afford to be too modest, you have to sell the sausage as well as the sizzle, if you see what I mean, so I am clear about what I can do well. However, I like to think I have been just as clear in the past about my myriad failings, and admitting where you go wrong, or what you dont do well is, in my humble opinion, a sign of strength not a weakness. So imagine my surprise when peacocks take this nugget of weakness and proceed to give me advice I didn’t ask for and attempt to “fix” what needs improvement but isn’t really broken.

Worse, I have heard phrases such as “you need to dig the goldmine” (Consultant BS!), “make your idea more sticky” (but with no concept as to how), and worst of all given my areas of expertise “I think I can read you” (seriously!) All of which are amongst the least offensive rubbish my various peacocks have dispensed to me.

I did need advice, but the thing about helping someone, is that you cant do that unless you know what it is they need first. Never, ever assume that you instinctively know the problem and check for goodness sake that you aren’t barking up the wrong tree before you wade in with your well-intentioned words of wisdom and create an “anti-follower” rather than another loyal minion.

My peacocks didnt listen to me first, they didnt tailor their advice and they made the fatal error of assuming that they were the only person in the room who “knew a little bit”

So I ignored my peacocks, and I went and found some “real people” who quietly got on with doing a good job and told me straight when I was going wrong and left everything else up to me, on the basis that I didnt want them to fix my life, only my PR strategy.

The thing about peacocks is that they are so busy being very pretty and very noisy, that they entirely dispense with much else. If you are so busy showing off your plumage and so noisy that you are a distraction in the end you become, well, entertainment. A pretty little ornament with no purpose at all, except to show others how not to do it.

I hear they even taste terrible better off with a chicken….

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