The grandstanders

This is a common sort of feedback/criticism/brainstorming, and it deserves a name.

Show up toward the end, when most of the work has been done and it’s almost time to ship…

Make a suggestion that would require changing a great deal of what’s been done. It might even be a good suggestion on its face, but it’s hard to tell…

Contribute your suggestion without having built a body of work, without evidence of significant expertise and without being willing to take responsibility for what happens next.

It’s a form of yelling from the bleachers.

The fact that your idea is fresh or innovative doesn’t change the role of Resistance. This sort of suggestion is a great place to hide. You’re helping, aren’t you? And if they ignore you, well, that’s on them.

The grandstander wants to be part of things, but isn’t showing up to do the hard part.

This might be the guest who shows up half an hour before dinner and suggests you change the menu.

Or the publicist that wants to weigh in on the product’s design a week before launch.

Or the good friend who wonders out loud if you should marry him, right after your four-year relationship turns into an engagement.

The alternative is to get out of the bleachers and into the field. Do the training. Show your work. Engage early. Own the outcomes.

We need that more than ever.