Owls and reputations

One of my favourite episodes of Winnie the Pooh contains a scene where Christopher Robin leaves a note for his friends saying that he would be back soon.

Owl misreads the last two words as ‘backson’ and proceeds to make up a fictional monster by the same name who proceeds to scare the other characters.

Owl was wrong in this case, but because he is an owl and is presumed to be wise, everyone believes him.

It’s like the famous phrase “if you have a reputation for getting up early you can stay in bed all day”.

I got caught once as an MD when a soloist with a big reputation failed to deliver the goods on stage. I believed the hype and failed to rehearse with him as I would anyone else, and the show paid the price.

It’s a lesson I have never forgotten.

Reputations are based on what has happened in the past…if you’re trying to shape the future you shouldn’t rely on them.


I came across this particular owl today…an incredible mural on the side of a new space for creatives in Sligo called The Nest.

Thanks to Brian Devaney, who is part of the team behind it for bringing me to see it and posing in the pic so you can get an idea of the scale of it. Credit to Paraic and Kevin McGloughlin for the amazing work.

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