There was a great business management article that came out recently written by a retired Lieutenant General, Russel L. Honore’. It was called, “Stuck on Stupid” and Honore’ focus was on our business paradigm wherein we have this powerful chief executive officer (CEO) with a virtual God complex and the authority to match. He see’s himself (herself) as a born leader who can’t wait to make those critical decisions that may arise. In his world he has the final word and wields unparalleled power. And that says Honore’ is passe…enter the new collaborative leadership concept.
You might think Facebook’s young Mark Zuckerberg would be all about cutting edge leadership that matches up with his cutting edge Facebook concept, but he stunned and surprised investors and his board of directors when he spent a billion dollars to buy another company. He just saw an opportunity and took it. He blew through a billion dollars and nobody knew it until it was a done deal. Honore’ would call him stuck on stupid, investors called him a lot of other things. Zuckerberg fell victim to his own sense of magnificense, a view shared by few outside his inner-circle.
During the Hurricane Katrina crisis a overdue evacuation order finally came and this had New Orleanians backed up at the airport trying to get out of Katrina’s way. The overcrowding was compounded because nobody at TSA told their security people to stand down. Nobody at the top had the intelligence to deviate from policy and say, don’t do tedious time wasting searches, just move people out as fast as they could. Honore’ was one of the crisis managers and he had to issue TSA a direct order to get those long lines moving because their TSA bosses we stuck on following the protocol even when it could cost lives because they were stuck on stupid. This was a gross failure to communicate and collaborate with crisis management officials for the best possible outcome.
The new way of doing business is called “collaborative leadership.”
Collaboration is probably the last thing a CEO who thinks he was born to command wants to hear. But, collaboration has been proven to be more effective over dictators every time. For example the US Army wanted to improve the effectiveness of JIIM (Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational) teams in Europe. They developed a framework for rapidly building and employing cross-boundary teams called Teams of Leaders, or ToL, which management consultants say has proved helpful at fighting team dysfunction in non-military organizations. “The key [to developing effective cross-boundary teams] is using facilitators,” says Mike Prevou, a ToL coach who co-founded the U.S. Army’s Battle Command Knowledge System Program. “Without trained facilitators, egos and mistrust get in the way.” Full article. This should be mandatory reading for the FBI that still fails to share terrorist intelligence with other agencies.
Obama is one of these stuck on stupid characters. He’s anything but progressive and is using the oldest managerial methods ever known. He has single-handedly done more to disrupt checks and balances, not to mention team building, than any president in the history of the United States. His casual use of presidential orders exceeds all but Frankin D. Roosevelt’s who presided over the depression years. Virtually every time Obama has acted unilaterally he has made a mess of things. Obamacare is a prime example. It’s fraught with horrendous cost overruns, exclusions and or exemptions woven into 2700 pages of red tape with no discernible benefit to improving medical care and this was all on him.
The President of the United States was intended to be the point man for his party’s policies, not the sole dictator of policy whereby his party exists only to implement his will. So, for my money B.O. is the #1 poster child for executives that are Stuck on Stupid. Lucky us.
Obama’s blunders and power grabbing makes me think we should consider changing the Constitution to prevent one person from ever being the dictator-in-chief again. We would be far better off with a three person panel sharing and collaborating than a megalomaniac.