Gapingvoid Idealists and Cynics


While the Dunning-Kruger Effect is an example of lacking self-awareness (Unconscious Incompetence), the other extreme – overthinking – can just as hazardous.  Hugh MacLeod once again captured the essence of life balancing in one of his recent Cube Grenade creations, ‘Cynic’

“As a habit, we humans tend to overcomplicate ourselves. Overthinking can drive us to become one of two very different things: a cynic or an idealist. It’s a common misconception that success is derived from being one or the other, and the reality is that neither of these attitudes gets us very far. So the challenge then becomes a matter of compromise—balancing self-awareness with consensus without losing our essence.”

MacLeod is complements the reflections of Chet Raymo’s ‘Skeptics and True Believers’ in two respects.  First, he ascribes ‘True Believer’ imbalance to ‘overthinking’.  Perhaps another example of ‘being right’.  Second, he asserts that every Cynic needs a bit of starry-eyed Idealism as much as every Idealist needs a dose of down-to-earth Cynicism (a strong variation of ‘Scepticism’).

Leaders are idealists; Managers are cynics. Both together humanise an organisation.