Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why the World is Doomed Part Four

Responsibility. The thing missing from a vast majority of the planet's citizens is Responsibility. There was a time, when people took responsibility for failure. An example was Dwight D. Eisenhower's letter taking sole responsibility if the invasion on D-Day had failed.

Harry Truman famously said that "The Buck Stops Here". Fast forward a couple generations, and the buck never got here is the most common excuse. Reagan embraced that when the Iran Contra mess fired up, and he may have been telling the truth. But something he said, something he hinted at gave the subordinates the idea that this would be something the boss wanted, but didn't want to know about. The era of Plausable Deniability had been born long before Reagan was elected.

Plausible Deniability is the technique where subordinates supposedly read the mind of a leader, and do what he can't order done. In other words, they take it upon themselves to violate some rule, regulation, law, or policy. They do so convinced that the boss wants it, but is unable to say he wants it. I've never liked that technique. The idea is if or when you get caught, you fall on your sword for your boss. Compare that with Ike who demanded absolute command of the invasion forces, the position of Supreme Commander was created for him. The British manner was one of a committee. Ike said one Commander, one voice. That way, if it failed, it would not be down to pointing fingers, it would be him, nobody else, that was responsible.

Part of the problem, is expectation. We have come to expect that our leaders will make no mistakes. The reality is that everyone makes mistakes. But to keep the boss looking perfect, we must make sure that no ill conceived or executed actions are attached to him. This trend trickles down to the point where even new recruits begin their journey in the Military with a Zero Defect mentality permiating the military. A mistake ruins a career, and could end up with you in Prison. So the mentality among people everywhere is to lie, instead of admitting a mistake honestly. They know mistakes are not forgiven, so they might as well lie about it.

We as a people need to learn the difference between an honest mistake, and an concious decision. There is a difference, and as an example, lets use driving a car. A concious decision is when you run a red light. You knew you were not supposed to do that. You made the decision to go for it, deciding that you could probably get away with it. An honest mistake is different. Let's say you live in Georgia, where turning right on a red light is legal. You go to New York City, where it is illegal. Unaware of this prohibition, you make a right turn on a red light. That was an honest mistake, you thought it was legal, and safe, and where you are from it is. You were not aware that it was a problem. We should, as a people, forgive honest mistakes. They were made with the best of intentions, not in an effort to get away with something.

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