I am baffled when otherwise intelligent people do stupid things. I recently found out that a friend of mine, a smart guy and a successful leadership speaker, lost tons of money on a multi-level marketing business venture. This venture involved some level of selling sport nurtrition drinks out of the back of a van. Who in their right mind would invest in that? He is a successful leadership motivational speaker whom I look up to (who I am now hoping doesn't read my blog).
Why do smart people do dumb things? It is a question I ask often because I am (common law) married to a smart man who from time to time . . . well, I have to wonder where his head went.
Another fabulous leadership motivational speaker acquaintance of mine, Kare Anderson blogged about this topic. She quotes leadership authors in the book Intellectual Morons. The leadership authors believe we have these 4 mental traps that cause smart people to do dumb things.
The 4 Mental Traps:
1. The Egocentrism Fallacy: Expecting that the world revolves, or at least should revolve, around you and thus behaving in ways that benefit you, regardless of how that behavior affects others.
2. The Omniscience Fallacy: Believing that you know all there is to know and therefore do not have to listen to the advice and counsel of others
3. The Omnipotence Fallacy: Thinking that your intelligence and education somehow make you all-powerful.
4. The Invulnerability Fallacy: Presuming that you can do whatever you want without fear of repercussions or exposure.
In summary, too much intelligence makes you narrow minded, believing that you know everything and can do no wrong.
Intelligence and rationality are not the same thing.
A know-it-all attitude. Is that what caused my leadership motivational speaker pal to sink thousands of dollars into a nutrition sport drink that is backed by very little substance? Knowing him, probably. Although it will make a great story for him to use from the podium.