No Need to Faucet

Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus. So, that’s 2 weeks of isolation covered and now just 22 years and 50 weeks to straighten out. Meanwhile, the office plant is expecting twin saplings.

We’re all waiting for the lockdown order in the UK which I guess means that people can venture out only for groceries or for work. So not a real lockdown, but a substantial social measure, unprecedented in modern times

Let’s face it, a voluntary request for restraint was always going to be ineffective regarding its stated aim for a whole host of reasons. But surely nobody swallowed the jabber that the public would comply simply because the big boss had stood behind a lectern and told them to make it so?

Well, if you’ve spent any time in an organisation in the last few decades, you’ll be familiar with the concept of infallibility that indeed stretches way beyond the Vatican and the Vicars of Christ.

Bosses are notorious bullshit junkies in a continuous stupor of the high-on-their-own-supply variety. They possess absolute unequivocal conviction that their words land well. Many are left befuddled and bemused when their staff plough their own furrows. They cannot fathom even implied defiance of their omnipotence.

Leaders get the standing ovations when they’re preaching to the converted, but it’s magical thinking to believe that they can sway a crowd of non-believers. They never learn, though. Power impairs senses as well as judgment.

We’ve had a crisis of organisational leadership long before we ever had our current crisis of political leadership.

But back to the corona-farce.

There are a couple of important lessons here for leaders in any organisation or context. If you ambivalent about your people – and don’t resort to any convoluted measures to secrete it – don’t expect them to rally round in an emergency when you’re staring into the abyss.

They’re more than likely to give you the final shove that sees you over the edge.

Oh, and if you do have a strategy, explain it. Otherwise people fill in the gaps themselves or simply disregard what you’re saying. Then you control neither the message nor the outcome.

Boris is finding this out the hard way and is having to stand up at 5pm every day to have his arse handed to him, filmed in front of a ‘live’ studio audience. And the whole country.

I can’t see him not doing it now. This is a Government desperate to shore up its own ailing credibility and will now likely impose those tighter controls. While these will mean little per se, such a crackdown will worsen the ongoing economic crisis and further loosen the panic tap.

It’s bad enough already – no need to faucet.

unsplash-logoJacek Dylag

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