Saturday, May 25, 2013

Benign Neglect?

The Harvard Business School teaches an element of management that is called "Benign Neglect." It is centered on the fact that roughly 60% of the things that crosses an executive's desk require no action by the executive. Either the problem will disappear or be solved by others, or the "emergency" will have been eliminated or solved by others by the time the executive needs to pay it any attention. It is dependent on the executive being trained and able to determine correctly which 40% actually need his or her attention.

Apparently someone had told Mr. Obama about this element. Also, apparently, Mr. Obama has not taken the requisite Harvard Business School course that would have taught him the finer points of the application.

The job of an executive is to supervise and direct. And you do that with knowledge of all that your subordinates are doing. When a subordinate hides something from you...regardless of the intention...they are suborning your authority and leaving you open to failure above and beyond your own choices...those people are 1) badly chosen, and 2) need to be fired forthwith.

The actions on A)Benghazi, B) the IRS, and C)the "creative" subpoenas with regard to the AP and Rosen have resulted in a plethora of "I didn't know"s, "I learned of it when you did", and "Someone else was investigating it and it was inappropriate for me to take any action" claims. Really???! 

I would argue before a jury that there was a pretty obvious pattern here of abdicating the responsibility of supervision and direction. But...that is not the thing that really torches me off...after all, I knew all along that Mr. Obama was administratively inept. What really frosts me is that he either does not now recognize his error, or he doesn't care.

Think about it...he doesn't have to run for office again. If he wished he could be truthful and right the ship, admitting the stupidity of his subordinates and their misdirected goal of "protecting" him, allow or direct them to fall on their swords and get on with the business of trying to do the best he can for the country in the next 3 years.

He could discover the concept of consequences, even as he protects his legacy, and throw the idiots with whom he has surrounded himself under the bus and pretend insight, going on to "do the right things" in actually and realistically compromising on getting some mutually acceptable bills passed. Unfortunately, i don't see that as happening.

For those who say that the Republicans are standing in his way, I suggest that is no different from the times that Democrats stood in the way of Republican Presidents. It is a challenge for President s to deal with the opposition. Some have done it successfully: look at Clinton...and at Reagan. It is an art or administering a country that is learned over time with the right training and background. It is not overcome by calling on the citizens to demonize those that disagree...that makes enemies and entrenches positions, making cooperation is an all or nothing approach. That has never been successful in America...and usually it has been disastrous. 

Look at what is going on. You determine what the approach being taken is...and how well chosen it is in the interest of the country.

Think we are on the right track?

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