We like lists don’t we… they help us remember the shopping… they help with gift ideas for Christmas or birthdays… they help remember the things we need to do.
Great for the inanimate but it just doesn’t sound like a wholesome place to put a human being does it? Outside of technology platforms, does anyone actually have a list of friends, or family or enemies even?
Perhaps you’ve read People Management’s top 20 power tweeters list this week.
That’s the trouble with lists.
In the context of achievement & endeavour there’s good reason to mark the culmination of people’s efforts, such as the Olympics/Paralympics. Recognition in a competitive context seems to provide people with a useful record. There are clear rules and processes.
Unlike some well known industry awards… what can be seen as subjective selection is open to dispute or can “miss” those that perhaps also merit their place on the list in others eyes. The suspicion of bias, favouritism or even cronyism taints.
I believe there is great value in recognising exemplary people or high standards in the context of role models. That is to say, this is what good looks like, now go create your own individual good. We don’t want to be carbon copies of others, do we? Such exemplars don’t need to be put on lists. They often stand out on their own and even when we “promote” them it’s as an individual not as a “list”.
Please don’t be a troublist
Please use a list for the inanimate. Use a list for governance & compliance records. Use a list to share a great process. Use a list as a record of a fair competition. Heck, use a list as a record of an unfair competition!
However, let’s not mistake technological functionality as a good reason to create a list.
When we’re talking about great people, friends, family, enemies even, you don’t need a list. It creates suspicion of bias, favouritism or cronyism… It creates false prophets… It inevitably misses those you should have included but didn’t include. It excludes for no good reason. Above all it taints.
Please don’t be a Troublist!