In December 1997, the African National Congress held its 50th national conference in Mafikeng. During the conference, Nelson Mandela offered the following advice to Thabo Mbeki:
“Do not surround yourself with yes-men, for they will do you and the nation incalculable harm. Listen to your critics, for only by so doing will you become aware of the disaffection that ails your people and be able to address them.”
Did Thabo listen? Nooooooooo. What hit the fan? Shiiiiiiiiit.
Consequently, I take my role as devil’s advocate quite seriously. I always ensure that there is a ready supply of flies whenever the boss decides to unscrew the lid of the corporate ointment jar. It’s the least I can do.