Thursday, July 26, 2012

the delusions of senior management (...and why it harms all of us)

At a recent seminar I attended, I noticed that the more senior a persons role is, the more likely they are not to have brought a notepad/pen, etc. with them - yet they know they're coming to an event where theyll be exposed to learning, and so be wanting to keep notes for their reference later. 
Perhaps this is because that due to the seniority of their role, they assume that others will have taken care of such basic administrative needs for them (a self-delusion of how important they think they are)?

And this concerns me - this obvious erosion of a person not taking responsibility for themselves is surely at odds with their responsibility for the performance and well-being of others under them? If they cant be trusted to make sure theyve a notepad and pen when going to an event where they know theyll need them, then how can we have faith in their competency to manage significant budgets or large numbers of other people?

There are, thankfully, exceptions Ive seen to this - people whove been on leadership programmes with the likes of Common Purpose, people in co-operatives (where one of the defining values is self-responsibility), and people in faith-based organisations, where there is a commonality of theological teaching around proving you can be trusted in the small things before being allowed to take on the larger responsibilities

So perhaps we need to challenge people in authority more; not over the public failings that cost peoples livelihoods, but before they can get to that stage - check that your boss carries a notepad and pen with them when out and about

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