Don’t Drink the Coolaid

don't drink the coolaid

Today, we’re diving into the world of critical leadership. Buckle into your hang gliding harness, because we’re about to launch into the subject of why you “don’t drink the Coolaid” in the business world. That phrase has become a mistaken symbol of loyalty. But, teams collaborate best when there are opposing viewpoints. You need differences of opinion.

The phrase “drink the Coolaid” originated in 1978 with the Jonestown Massacre – where 900 people, under the influence of cult leader Jim Jones, consumed poisonous Coolaid and died. Now, many organizations and associations use the phrase to describe “buy-in.” When people are believers, they say they drank the Coolaid – as if that was a good thing!

So encourage critical thinking, and don’t drink the Coolaid:

  • Ignore the pressure – industry trends and other influences can be strong, but maintain your sense of unique identity to avoid losing sight of your core mission.
  • Don’t blindly follow trends. Business leaders must think critically – believing without evaluation can lead to a crash landing.
  • Look for innovative opportunities. Don’t miss out on creative solutions – ask questions and explore alternatives.
  • Balance confidence with caution. Overconfidence in groupthink can lead to reckless choices. Be willing to reevaluate and adapt when necessary.
  • Avoid groupthink dangers. Don’t drink the Coolaid and you’ll avoid stifling creativity, which leads to poor decision-making. Promote a culture where diverse opinions are valued and encouraged.

In the business world, it’s vital that we don’t drink the Coolaid. Blindly following trends and conforming to groupthink can lead to missed opportunities and poor decision-making. Instead, as a leader, foster an environment where critical thinking is the norm. Promote and value diverse perspectives. And, make decisions after thorough evaluation. Remember, just as in hang gliding, having the courage to chart your own course can lead to remarkable successes. So, keep your wings steady, embrace the power of critical thinking, and remember: You haven’t peaked yet!