Stuck on Stupid v Collaborative Leadership

by Jack

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.

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5 Responses to Stuck on Stupid v Collaborative Leadership

  1. Tina says:

    Hmmm, sounds good but would it really work? Especially in the presidency?

    What if all three in the three person panel are “stuck on stupid”? Holy moley…one is bad enough, can you imagine three? And can you imagine the election season? Ach…I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.

    Also, in this collaborative trio, which one would have the final word? I don’t even want to think about the pages of rules that would be written to determine how a bill gets signed.

    Right now the President has his cabinet, various department heads, and the military to collaborate and consult with but he is the ultimate decision maker and, I think, must be. Most of our presidents have relied on and utilized these relationships well.

    A good CEO knows how to choose and depend on those under him to form teams and delegate responsibility. Collaboration should be the order of the day for underlings and department heads. But unless there is a single person with final authority at the top there will be chaos and division, if not immediately, then certainly down the road.

    I can relate to the generals “stuck on stupid” remark. There are times when staying stuck in a protocol can cost lives, precious time, or money. I will never forget that kid during Katrina (maybe 15) who said nuts to the rules and commandeered a school bus to take people to safety. I’m sure he didn’t have a license to drive a school bus but who cares in a situation like that?

    People can make mistakes and dumb decisions…even very good people. What we need is candidates that are prepared for the job and an electorate that can tell the difference between those who have the experience and background and those who just don’t…no matter how charismatic they are.

    • Post Scripts says:

      Tina, I just through that out here, sort of an off the cuff remark. But, I could see allocating areas of responsibility based upon their expertise. It’s likely never going to happen.

  2. Tina says:

    No, you’re right Jack and I think good leaders do allocate areas of responsibility and count on those in underling positions to handle their areas and coordinate with others, including reporting back to the CEO or president.

    We just aren’t always blessed with good leaders and I guess that’s just life. At least in the Private sector they can lose their jobs. We have to wait four years for another opportunity to change presidents and sometimes that can be quite trying…ugh.

  3. Peggy says:

    We don’t need a president in title only with a god complex, we need a leader. And one that doesn’t lead from behind or goes to bed while those under his command are fighting for their lives.

    Did twenty-two SEALs die because they had a target on their backs?

    Family of Navy SEAL Team 6 Killed in attack Aug. 11, 2011 in Afghanistan blame the Obama administration for their deaths. Twenty two members died that night just three months after Joe Biden disclosed it was team six that killed Osama bin Lauden, the largest SEAL lost in history.

    Obama Disrespects SEAL Team 6 Families :

    SEAL Team 6 Tribute:

    Too many unanswered questions with this that just like those killed in Benghazi needs to be looked into.

  4. Peggy says:

    From a post on FB.


    I find that I’m not sure what to even say tonight. There is much to discuss, only question is what to say and where to start.

    We are in a converging path with destiny it seems. Everything is coming together.

    I cannot help but think the statists now find themselves in an untenable position. All but three weeks ago it seemed as thought they were bulletproof. All the world was their stage and they were going to dance.

    What a difference a week can make.

    Benghazi simply refused to go away. Now the MSM is in a mad scramble to save their skin and cover for their master. We are seeing triangulation of the highest order now. Why is it that so many low level personnel seem to be exercising the greatest of power in this administration?

    It may be a good time to consider switching careers if you’re a janitor for the Federal government. Mopping floors today – death row tomorrow.

    The loss on gun control, floundering of amnesty and the “discovery” by his own party that Obamacare is likely to unhinge the country and the economy have all served to tighten a virtual noose around his neck.

    Now we have the revelations that the IRS has targeted conservatives and their causes.

    No revelations tonight – just a question.

    What is he going to do about it?

    The statists are so close to final victory they can smell it. All of the power they truly desire is within their grasp. Now they face disaster.

    Do you believe they will sit idly by as all they have achieved is washed away?

    The statists understand all too well what I am about to say. They cannot survive the next election if this continues – and that is just the mid-terms. The prospect of impeachment is unfathomable. The image they have worked to cement is all but extinct if this not stopped.

    The political pendulum is starting to stall. If it reverses course it will swing so far right that they risk a setback to more than 65 years of liberal activism. Everything they hold dear is at risk.

    The Gosnell conviction threatens to rip apart the last vestiges of public support for abortion that remain. Only the godless, soulless murderous ideologues now stand for abortion.

    No my friends, the statists now face a full blown ideological rebellion. In less than two months they have witnessed a turn from the prospect of total unending power to the slippery slope of ideological demise.

    If this nation is permitted another Presidential election they will be undone – permanently.

    They know this all to well. They will never have another chance at victory. He will soon lose a fleeting chance at totalitarian power.

    They are becoming desperate now.

    The revelations concerning the IRS were released by the government itself. The President condemned the targeting of conservatives this very day.


    Question – since when does the government tell on itself? That’s what I thought too.

    We are witnessing damage control 101. They must force the genie back into the bottle before they lose all momentum. Here is the thing – it will not take long to see if they can stop the hemorrhaging. Very soon they will be faced with a choice.

    What do we do? In his case it is a matter of survival now.

    The statists are under the blistering assault of a full broadside. They can still fight and return fire. However, one or two well placed shots and the ship shall be lost. Will this captain go down with the ship?

    The statists now find themselves faced with a hard reality – they can fight or die.

    Which do you think they will choose?

    Lucius Sulla

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