BobbleHead Syndrome

Dwight BobbleHeadYou know this guy. This is the guy you see on a daily, or at least, weekly basis. This is the guy that sits in every meeting or gathering and nods. He just nods and nods and nods. And if he is ever not nodding and sees someone else nodding he quickly starts nodding again. (He isn’t about to be out-nodded). This guy is a bobblehead.

When he says things, he says things like this “We need to action our deliverables” and ” We need to drill down to the bottom line” and ” We can monetize this product. It’s all about monetizing it.” These things don’t really mean anything. The bobblehead should stick to nodding. Somehow the bobblehead is successful. Somehow the bobblehead (though he annoys everyone else) impresses the people he needs to impress to further himself. My theory on this is that important people like to be validated by nods. The more you nod in agreement (whether you understand them or not) the more they trust you and want to reward you for you obvious intelligence. So the bobblehead succeeds.

This success of the bobblehead results in what I like to call bobblehead syndrome. Bobblehead syndrome is when everyone starts following the example of the lead bobblehead. All if the sudden every meeting is like a chorus of nodding. Everyone wants the nod solo but it is hard to come by. There is brutal nodding competition. The only person not nodding is the person speaking whom everyone is trying to impress by nodding. That person feels very validated. I mean, a nod is consent and agreement, and it always feels nice to have everyone agreeing with you. Bobblehead syndrome has infected the entire group (except for rebels like me who now won’t nod even if they do agree).

The cure? As sad as it is, the only cure for bobblehead syndrome is the fall of one of the bobbleheads. At some point a bobblehead will be called out- their pointless nodding will be seen for what it really is, and then everyone will instantly stop nodding afraid of meeting the same humiliating fate. A bobblehead has fallen and then been abandoned by his fellow bobbleheads. This is a nasty syndrome that always ends in heartache. It is resilient, however, and it will return to nod another day. You haven’t seen the last of bobblehead syndrome.

* Note- I discovered bobblehead syndrome. It is one of the most important breakthroughs of my generation. You’re welcome.

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