Out of the box he failed. He failed in the way that he sought advice. Note in the passage he first receives counsel from the elders who had served his dad. These men had been involved in the governance of the land with his father and had experience with and knowledge of the people. They gave him counsel to work with the people, to meet their needs. The counsel sounds a great deal like Philippians 2:3 - 18, it was good counsel.
But then Rehoboam's friends, his contemporaries, told him that he should follow his own desire and increase and consolidate his power and authority over the people. This advice appealed to Rehoboam's ego and desire for greatness, in choosing to follow this advice he sealed his place in history as the one who caused the division of the kingdom.
We can always find those who will tell us what we want to hear. We need to seek those wise counselors who will challenge us to do greater things than that for which our ego and desire reaches.