Demystifying Common Sense


Everyone seems to know that common sense is not common practice. However, most people don’t seem to know why.

Knowing why common sense is not common practice requires an intellectual level of understanding far beyond common sense.

When I speak on the subject of common sense in my leadership development seminars, everyone in the room always realizes that the leadership principles I speak about are common sense, but they also know that they are not commonly practiced among the masses of people.

Why isn’t common sense common practice?

I’ve come to understand that the problem is found in our perceived definition of common sense which leads to our expectations not being met. You see, when someone says something is common sense, what they actually mean is that it is commonly understood.

Again, the principle relative to common sense that most people are missing is this: When we say something is common sense, we mean anyone should understand it. However, doing what is commonly understood is far beyond common.

Here’s a simple example to prove my point:

It’s common sense to understand that we should invest our time and money into our own personal growth and development in order to become more effective at work and at home. If we want to be better, we need to get better. If we want our organization to be better, we must help our people become better people. Common sense right? Of course. Common practice? Usually not.

“The top 5 percent of achievers invest an average of $3,000 per year on personal growth while the other 95 percent average only $7 per year.” ~ Les Brown

If we invest in ourselves and become intentional about moving ourselves forward, we will move forward. Our personal and professional lives will get better. Most people will instantly agree. But, most people don’t do it. Most people won’t do it.

Instead, most people will choose to spend more money hanging out with friends over the weekend having a good time, or purchasing something else they don’t need but that will make them temporarily feel good, or taking a weekend getaway to escape a job or life they don’t like than they will spend on their own personal growth and development. Rather than choosing to intentionally invest their time and financial resources into their own personal growth and development in an effort to create the life they want and improve their circumstances every day, they settle for what’s easiest, escaping from the life they have.

Why is this the case? Because common sense means we understand what we should do. However, doing it requires uncommon sense.

I think you get will get the point. After all, it’s “common sense.”

Why wouldn’t we do it? Because understanding this is common sense while taking action requires uncommon sense.

  • Believing in ourselves requires uncommon sense.
  • Investing in ourselves requires uncommon sense.
  • Developing ourselves requires uncommon sense.

If you want to achieve uncommon results, you must possess uncommon sense.

Those with common sense will talk themselves out of what they know they should and need to do at this point. Invest in themselves more.

Knowing but not doing. Again, common sense only means we will understand what should be done. It doesn’t mean we will do it.

Having the discipline to take the initiative to better ourselves requires uncommon sense.

My challenge to you: be more intentional; become more uncommon.

You can do it on your own, or you can partner with others. But, do it.

I’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary call to help you understand how you can do it yourself, how I can help you, and/or how I can help you develop yourself and your team simultaneously.

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Mack Story

My passion is helping people understand what’s common sense isn’t always common practice. I help leaders at all levels develop 360° of influence. The result: they take more responsibility and lead with speed.