Monday, November 28, 2011

Who's In Charge Here?--Management Secrets from the Kansas Governor

Nice to see that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been successfully bullied out of his attempt to bully an improvident teenager into silence.   I guess it is nice also that he took the occasion to remind us what a cheap, cheeseparing whiner he really is.  Sorry about that says the governor.  "My staff overreacted."

OH GIVE ME A BREAK.  Governor,  my guess is that your staff did  just exactly what you wanted them to do, under the principle of deniability--whereby it is their first job to try whatever might work,  and their second job (if the first goes off the rails), to fall on the grenade.    I can only hope they understood that they were signing up for CIA-type loyalty, and that they are amply compensated for the honor.  Remember, governor, hard to get good help these days.

Okay, suppose I am wrong.  Suppose this is not a forethought strategy.  Still, remember Peter Drucker's insight: if you assign a staffer to do something and the staffer screws it up, you are at fault.  Either you gave the job to the wrong guy, or you didn't train him right, or you left him without adequate supervision.  The job of a manager is to manage--not just to collect paychecks and blame the screwups on somebody else.   

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