When Being Right is Wrong

It’s good to be right, but not always. “I told you so” isn’t always a great career move.

A guy I know predicts his department reorganization is going to fail. He’s pretty sure he knows what’s wrong and what should be done. He’s not saying anything about it to his managers, though, because he wants to wait for the failure to happen, first. Then he’s going to propose a solution.

This is a friend of mine, so if that sounds critical, I’m not writing it correctly. I think he’s right.

He’s the same guy I posted about in April who was told he took “too much ownership” in his job. That was a complaint, surprisingly, not praise. So I have to be sympathetic when he wants more than just “I told you so.”  He wants the manager position, not just being right. And he recognizes that his chances are better if things fall apart first, without him having predicted that. Let the problems run their course.

How are you doing in your company? Do you have team members waiting, perhaps even hoping, for things to fail?


  • Anh Tuan Nguyen says:

    Hi Tim,
    The problem you mentioned could have been caused by a wrong business system.An unclear KPI system is a bad promise for the employee efforts. No-one wants to do more for the better company if they have nothing.
    And It will be worse when a passion employee know he could do better than his manager.

  • Alexander Muse says:

    Ironically I wrote about this idea in a different context a couple of weeks ago:


  • Anonymous says:

    A very similar thing happened to me in my last job. I was not in the IT department, but with my strong technology background I could see many problems with how things were run there. I spoke up to my boss about it to warn him about the risk of data loss and he essentially told me to mind my own business. Needless to say there was an event where a bunch of colleagues and I (including the president of the company) lost all their archived emails, and another in which the web server crashed and data was lost. The IT director was eventually fired but not after significant asset loss for the company.

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