This is a great post from Seth Godin! Here is my “edited version”
Computer programmers use the term garbage in/garbage out. The concept is that bad input leads to bad output. The developers usually disclaim responsibility saying, “well, if you hadn’t typed XYZ, it wouldn’t have broken. Garbage in/garbage out.”
However, that is a recipe for failure.
The work of the middleman is to inspect and recover. If your restaurant gets lousy fish from the boat, you don’t get to serve it and proclaim garbage in garbage out. If the school board gives the teacher lousy instructions, the teacher doesn’t put up his hands and say, “I’m just doing my job.” He provides a buffer between the administrators and the his real customers, the students.
There will always be garbage in. It’s up to you as to whether or not there will be garbage out.
Thanks for listening.