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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Prospects for success

At Alpha Game, I answer a man's question concerning the likelihood a Gamma-infested project will succeed:
It is not possible for an project, a business, or a nation to survive Gamma leadership, because Gammas are not leaders and are not successful people. They will cheerfully burn the entire thing down at a moment's notice merely because they feel insufficiently appreciated or insufficiently respected, regardless of how bad their performance has been or how poorly the project is doing.
Because most people seldom find themselves in positions of leadership, they have absolutely no idea what it entails. As those who have worked with me know, I do not believe leadership has anything to do with bossing people around, telling them how to do their jobs, or chest-pounding. It primarily involves pointing them in the right direction, making sure they have everything they need to accomplish their objective, and ensuring they understand what that objective is.

The better the leader, the less he actually has to do. The greatest leaders are those who make leadership look entirely effortless, because they are so good at selecting lieutenants and sergeants, delegating decisions to them, and successfully communicating the organization's vision, that they literally have nothing left to do.

The reason Trump may turn out to be a much better president than expected is because he shows the signs of a top-notch leader. He clearly likes to surround himself with high-quality subordinates and give them as much responsibility as they can handle.

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66 Comments:

Blogger Sagramore December 22, 2016 8:05 AM  

The worst is when the Gamma sabotages you for going ahead and making executive decisions in emergencies while you're watching them on television screwing around at a convention and after they hang up on you "accidentally."

(This book sure will be entertaining, but sadly, it also has to be fictional for legal reasons.)

Blogger James Dixon December 22, 2016 8:07 AM  

Picking good people was the key to Reagan's Presidency. I suspect Trump is going to be even better at it than he was.

Blogger Lobo Util December 22, 2016 8:08 AM  

Leadership and management are two very different skills.

Blogger Lobo Util December 22, 2016 8:12 AM  

Government is gamma heaven. They can't be fired. They don't have to work unless they feel like they want to at that moment. They can make a one hour approval process take years.

If Trump is going to change the country's direction, the first thing he needs to do is get anti-gamma legislation passed so that he can fire, let's say, 25% of the workers in any department each year.

Blogger Anchorman December 22, 2016 8:16 AM  

When I served, the most effective leader summed up leadership as this< ":It's my job to remove all the distractions so you can do the job you were hired to do."

That included ignoring or mitigating all the mandatory training nonsense (when we did it, we always had a cook out, so it was as much R&R as it was training on mundane topics).

Everyone takes a job because they are excited or interested in doing the work they've been (initially) hired to do. It's the ancillary B/S that drives down employee happiness and productivity.

Blogger Anchorman December 22, 2016 8:17 AM  

Leadership and management are two very different skills.

In the spec ops world, there's a saying, "You lead people. You manage resources."

Blogger Shimshon December 22, 2016 8:25 AM  

@2 "Picking good people was the key to Reagan's Presidency. I suspect Trump is going to be even better at it than he was."

Yes, but...James Watt, who was thrown under the bus for making a careless remark on the diversity of his team. Trump will unquestionably do better (lots better, I think), because he will stand by his underlings as long as they perform. All that matters to him is performance and loyalty (and don't do anything unforgivably and objectively stupid).

Anonymous trev006 December 22, 2016 8:37 AM  

For the past 16 years we've been hearing that Bush and Obama have amazing delegation skills, often to paper over their complete lack of ability. Delegation is nice but not definitive. Given Trump's ability to see large projects through to completion, I think he will succeed more because of his vision. It is not delusional, unlike Bush's, and far more benevolent to white America, unlike Obama's. It also has the virtue of being extremely simple, unlike globalist theory.

Blogger James Dixon December 22, 2016 8:38 AM  

> Yes, but...James Watt, who was thrown under the bus for making a careless remark on the diversity of his team

I didn't say he was perfect.

Blogger Elocutioner December 22, 2016 8:40 AM  

Who's Got the Monkey? https://hbr.org/1999/11/management-time-whos-got-the-monkey

I read that this is essentially Trump's management style. You keep your own monkeys, he gets to go home at night.

It's really easy to get caught up in the "do it yourself if you want it done right" mentality when you're limited to people who can't do it right. (Which is probably damn near all the time for most of us.)

Blogger Boko Harambe December 22, 2016 8:45 AM  

I'm out of the corporate world but I worked for a few mid sized to huge global corps, and always felt this lack of decisive leadership, except for that one time I had to to Swiss HQ and saw the clockwork efficiency and sense of purpose. Why could that not translate to the US operation?

Anchorman has the answer, in part. Diversity and other meaningless training and meetings that prevented me from doing my job. At my last corporate gig, the ennui was so deep I barely cared when I was laid off, and when they offered to move me to another division I declined.

I remember having to do my own performance evals too, and to set my own metrics and goals. To a point, that is a good thing, but management gave little to no input and mostly rubber stamped reviews. I am not always the best judge of my own performance or what my next steps ought to be. Is not that why we have managers?

The culture of entrepreneurialism got a bit carried away with the concept, even into middle school classrooms where students were expected to come up with their own learning plans and success paths. Some people cannot do this.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet December 22, 2016 8:48 AM  

But some Facebook meme told me that his cabinet has collectively more wealth than 50% of US households or something so it can't be any good.

Blogger Rodger Smith December 22, 2016 8:50 AM  

You said that perfectly when you said a good leader has little to do especially after hiring the right team and pointing them in the right direction. I recently had this same conversation with a friend. I told him once I got the right people in place and they were doing great I was bored to death and my biggest challenge was staying out of their way and only stepping in when absolutely needed. Some managers seem to want to creat work for themselves which generally means creating work for their employees. This leads to frustration.

Blogger Johnny December 22, 2016 8:50 AM  

My way of saying it is that the more power you have the less you should use it.

I suspect that your method of leadership works because the people you work with want to be doing what they are doing. I doubt the same thing would hold up in a school environment because the kids don't all want to be there.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 8:52 AM  

Vox, top notch comment. This is one hundred percent entirely accurate.

When you are considerably lower in the leadership table than Trump (and from 20th January, that's everybody lol), but still high enough up the leadership foodchain somewhere (a corporation, a business, a project etc) then you need to watch out for two things : 1. Technical and Subject matter expertise. Those will become your best sergeants. 2. Leadership potential. Those may become your best lieutenants. 1 and 2 are not mutually exclusive (I've moved myself from 1 to 2 over last 6 years of my career).

And then you need to grow your lieutenants into leaders of sub teams (if you're not Trump and just can hire ready made CEO's).

When I grow the leadership game of my lieutenants in my department over the past ca. 4 years, I've perused an almost equivalent version of Vox's post today as guidance : 1. Always get the best into your team, try to get workers who are BETTER than you even at the relevant subject matter. 2. Always tell your staff WHAT to do. But NEVER under any circumstances tell them HOW to do it.

A poor and weak leader can immediately be spotted by micromanagement, telling people how to do their jobs. If that's necessary, well that just proves he was a poor hiring manager and didn't get the right skill set into the roles. If there's concern about a team memner's performance, it's absolutely ok for the manager to ASK him about how the emoloyee intends to solve the work issue at hand. If staff ask you, it's ok to give them guidance. But simply never outright TELL them at the outset. If they don't perform, you MUST fire them. This is good, nay even REQUIRED, for good team morale. The high performers in a team hate having to pull along the underperformers.

They don't hate it as much however as having their boss meddling inside their domain. They WANT to see the boss going home at 5pm, whilst they solve some complex problem until 7-8pm.

Excellent post Vox. Thank you.

Blogger Boko Harambe December 22, 2016 9:02 AM  

@ Rodger Smith, you just described every female boss, and one male boss, I ever had.

Anonymous Desiderius December 22, 2016 9:07 AM  

"selecting lieutenants and sergeants"

Who become tomorrow's generals.

This is why the current Left sucks so bad. The previous generation in their solipsism selected sycophants and flatterers for lieutenants, who now can't lead their way out of a paper bag.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 9:08 AM  

I remember having to do my own performance evals too, and to set my own metrics and goals. To a point, that is a good thing, but management gave little to no input and mostly rubber stamped reviews. I am not always the best judge of my own performance or what my next steps ought to be. Is not that why we have managers?

Perhaps I can help a bit with those questions.

It seems like you were a middling performer. Managers are asked and incentivised to pro-actively performance manage the top and bottom 10-15 per cent of the team. The latter in order to either move into a different more adequate role ("2nd chance"), or if that fails, to manage them out. The former to groom them for more responsibilities, either in the area of subject matter (sergeants) or leadership (lieutenants).

But management is, in and of itself, not productive, so an efficient firm will aim to keep it as lean as possible. Ideal number is preached as "7 direct reports" per manager. No idea why not 6 or 9, but you may have heard the "team of 8" where the manager is still expected to do at least some of the actual work.

That keeps time for personable performance management very limited, so it's not supposed to be focused on the "middle" portion of the team.

Blogger Student in Blue December 22, 2016 9:12 AM  

Because most people seldom find themselves in positions of leadership, they have absolutely no idea what it entails.

This also makes selecting good people to delegate work to very difficult, since people who would be good with that amount of hands-off are good leaders themselves.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 9:17 AM  

@11 @18 my answer assumed that your management was "good" and efficient. That may not have been the case. Another possibility could be that your performance was lacking, but management were too cowardly to say that to your face. If so, that would have been quite despicable management behaviour. Or maybe they were just poor and clueless management and had no idea of your performance, and might have been surprised themselves when "higher ups" cut their team size. But in a well run organisation, my original answer would have likely been the reason.

Blogger Boko Harambe December 22, 2016 9:17 AM  

I started strong, but I was a middling performer by the end, no doubt. Management changed hands five times in two years. I had no idea where I, or the company, was going. It got confusing.

One place where I started asked me to write a review and performance plan within my first month. That was a new experience. But that was where my manager never answered direct questions or gave clear objectives on projects. Show me where to go and I'll get there, but the whole department had no map, just undying faith in the top man and his PhD.

Blogger Robert Coble December 22, 2016 9:19 AM  

This blog post (and the comments) encapsulates perfectly WHY Donald Trump will be a great President!

I wrote the following to my family on 09 NOV 2016, after reading Trump's book The Art of the Deal:

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

There are (at least) two things going on here.

(1) Donald Trump may have utilized every advantage allowed by law while leading his businesses - but he stayed within the law.

(2) Donald Trump had a VISION, and articulated that vision sufficiently to draw others to it in overwhelming numbers. THAT is the very essence of his leadership skills.

This is what a LEADER looks like. Instead of "management by objective (of merely winning politically)" (poll, poll poll, and focus-group every thing in the universe), the leader decides his objective(s) and figures out how to get to where he envisions and then leads in that direction. People will naturally follow someone like that.

Leadership is NOT "getting out in front of the lemmings headed over a cliff."

The talking heads, the SJWs, the cuckservatives will all be screaming "Hitler!" at everything Trump does. They will do everything in their unholy power to thwart the objectives. They do not know what leadership is, but even they can recognize it - and they HATE it. There are no greater opponents to a leader because they recognize their own inadequacies reflected back from such a person.

In the martial arts world, there are those who HAVE black belts and those who ARE black belts. Those who "talk the talk" but can't deliver on it HATE those who can "walk the walk." [It is the difference between personal authority and positional authority.]

Donald Trump is a LEADER. He has the personal integrity of a LEADER. He will seem harsh to those who do not want to follow him toward his vision, because he will not waver. He will seem arrogant to those who are incompetent to lead, because they confuse confident competence with arrogance. He will be adored by the "uneducated white men" who recognize that FINALLY, we have a LEADER who first and foremost wants great things for OUR country, OUR people. He may not get everything done that he has articulated. He may have to change course at various points in time in order to make progress toward his overall goal of Making America Great Again. Because he is a LEADER, he will do his best to follow through on his vision. So for those who are fearful that it is all just more political bullshit, re-think that assessment.

I predict that he will end up being the best LEADER this country has ever been blessed with, going all the way back to George Washington.

Blogger Garuda1 December 22, 2016 9:26 AM  

Even when leadership is given to someone who has no idea what it entails, it typically doesn't help them grow or learn what leadership means. Those who are prepared for leadership, or those who have the proper mentality/disposition/personality, will naturally begin to emerge from a pool of employees.

But office politics and SJW convergence are so bad right now that I've seen leaders with yuge potential and talent squeezed out or chased off just because they refused to play the game (don't get me wrong; these guys were hard-working, perceptive leaders, but their refusal to kiss ass was all it took for them to be considered "trouble-makers")

Leadership is an amazing thing for the leader and those he leads when both sides fulfill their role. From my anecdotal experience, I've witnessed far more incompetence and piss-poor leadership than I have the opposite. This is an area that I'm hoping Trump's apex-alpha leadership traits will trickle down into society and we can make working great again.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 9:33 AM  

But office politics and SJW convergence are so bad right now that I've seen leaders with yuge potential and talent squeezed out or chased off

Do you seriously believe that office politics has been better at any point in time before, throughout human history? I think that's just an excuse.

Learn the rules. Play the game.

And there's no shame in realising one organisation is so converged that success will be impossible. Cut your losses. Go elsewhere, and compete them out of the game from there!

But don't get out of the game entirely yourself!

Blogger Johnny December 22, 2016 9:44 AM  

I am not sure if it is Gamma or not, but a common problem is leaders who compete with their own employees.

My take on Trump is that he is an unusual personality. Despite a considerable vanity he connects well with people.

Blogger Garuda1 December 22, 2016 10:00 AM  

@24 I'm relatively young, so I was entirely ignorant on office politics until I actually exited academia and began doing real work. No excuses, just observing what is happening as I go. (I'm also not in any position of prestige or wealth)

You're right that there is some gaming to be done, but not of the type I've seen. Cooperation, dealing with conflicting views, settling disputes, and other non work-related tasks are part of the normal game. Taking the boss out for drinks/meals, sexual favors, other nonsense like that is what I'm referring to.

Work is work, and it will carry the curse from the fall until the end, and I have no issue with that. I have made plans to completely exit the rat race while providing for my family, so I'm working towards that goal.

I'm not complaining about it; it is what it is, and I'll always make sure that my family has food on the table. My point was that the work environment as I've seen it is more conducive to good leaders being cut off and bad leaders (but great politicians!) being elevated, results be damned.

Blogger Boko Harambe December 22, 2016 10:11 AM  

It's a man's game in the end, though. Some women are cut out for it. I was not. My success came when I entered the domestic sphere. I'm happy, efficient, and feel like I'm accomplishing something day to day.

The push to get women into the workplace in greater numbers and in higher positions helps no one. A large part of my eventual underperformance was due to just feeling plain out of place and out of alignment with any sort of purpose to the corporate culture. I have purpose and alignment at home, though. Right job for the tool and it's abilities.

Blogger SemiSpook37 December 22, 2016 10:15 AM  

@18

I sort of fall into that middling segment, myself. Part of it is that I tend to prefer a lower profile, but if I want to move up and properly earn the designation of a SME, then I need to be more gregarious and visible. Problem is that the last 3-4 positions I've been in, they've all be rather limited in terms of what they've provided (from an interaction perspective), and I really haven't seen avenues of growth that are to my liking or even what would meet my credentials of a decent challenge.

Office politics, whether they're by convergence or underhandedness, are just the nature of the beast. Everybody's got an agenda. Most middle management these days tend to look more at just the bottom line and not make any attempts on how to add value to their efforts.

Case in point: for the next week, I'm a subcontractor on an Army program, which had a rather rough transition between my current employer and a competitor. The competitor has already screwed up royally on a number of fronts. It's affected me directly in that me and my team don't have all of our credentials in place to do our jobs, and as such, I decided to take up another position elsewhere that would appreciate my experience and knowledge, and quite honestly make sure that was put to good use. It's just frustrating that I went through so much to get to where I am that I have to move, but then again, last time I got complacent about my work, I was out on the street for five months. Never doing that again.

Blogger SemiSpook37 December 22, 2016 10:28 AM  

@27

You bring up an interesting point. My wife has a BA and an MA (sociology and education, respectively), whereas I have a BS (in engineering). I've heard countless stories from her time between those degrees where she just didn't feel like she was getting anything out of the work she was doing (and keep in mind she originally wanted to go into acting). I come home to her tired and frustrated with two young girls, along with having watched two other girls after school for some friends of ours who both work (that mom is a lawyer, and is pretty damned good at it), but I can tell she wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Things are tough right now for a few reasons I can't openly disclose (aside from my previous mention of a job transition), but I don't think I've ever really told her that she needs to get out and get a job or anything like that (it's been discussed as a possibility when our daughters get older, but I've never told her that it was a mandate).

That's why I do what I do, and try to do it pretty damned well enough to justify the amount of money I get paid. Mainly because I understand that that's my job. It's just that simple.

Anonymous BBGKB December 22, 2016 10:34 AM  

At least Mark Cuban has come out with what he would do if he lost all him money after an Audit by the TRUMP IRS

Mark Cuban: If I lost everything and had to start over, here's what I would do:
"I would get a job as a bartender at night and a sales job during the day"

management-time-whos-got-the-monkey...You keep your own monkeys, he gets to go home at night

I thought it would cover affirmative action.

But some Facebook meme told me that his cabinet has collectively more wealth than 50% of US households

According to the illegally taped by a lawyer video of Romney saying about 47% getting more handouts than they pay, if you can buy 4 cartons of cigarettes with your own money that is true.

If they don't perform, you MUST fire them. This is good, nay even REQUIRED, for good team morale

I remember how pissed an inner city hospital's IT department was when they found out the guy who they couldn't fire for downloading a porn virus that shut down almost all of the computers for a week had previous problems that the security guards identified.

Learn the rules. Play the game.

The rules include not explaining to black people their horrible mistakes, like not knowing that the paper they used to argue with an OR team for 20 min had what they were asking for as a medical abbreviation so she couldn't changer her story.

Do you seriously believe that office politics has been better at any point in time before, throughout human history?

In the early 90s Forbes magazine published that affirmative action ate up 4% of the GDP, do you think it got better or worse?

Blogger Boko Harambe December 22, 2016 10:37 AM  

SemiSpook, it took. Eva while to embrace domesticity and forget chasing money. My dad is from a large family of high achievers, both his brothers and sisters are highly educated, well paid, and have children following in their footsteps. I tried, but ultimately found I prefer my husband and children to a paycheck.

Husband works very hard, and I try to make a comfort for him. Couldn't do that if I was off working 50-60 hours a week elsewhere. I don't know how my family members swing it. Maybe I'm just too sentimental and old fashioned about how I expect to relate to my husband and our children.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 10:59 AM  

@28 so what man?

You observe all the right things, but you seem to not be able to draw the right conclusions And actions from it.

You have way too much consumerist attitude which I observe all to often with people in your stage of career.

Now go figure out 1. What do you want to be your next step? Only you can answer that. 2. What do you lack to get ther? Write it down! It must be PERSONAL to yourself : lack of certain skills, behaviors, etc. Do NOT use the cop out "I'm not being given the right challenge / opportunity etc. Why, because you cannot control that. Write down things under your direct control you're able to improve: lack that level of SME? Read And study that book. Lack that behaviour? Try to befriend somebody who displays it, and ask and emulate. Etc!

Then excel at the job you're doing, and make it seem effortless to the people who count. Work towards making yourself REDUNDANT. Why, because when next a BIG opportunity comes along, nobody in management would ever consider the busiest guy of the team! (For fear of letting his area of work fall apart if they pull him off it.)

Never complain to management that they don't tell you what they want! Approach management and tell Them what You want in your next position. In a non obnoxious way though.

So everybody's got an agenda? Well so should you! Now figure out, what is the agenda of the people that matter for you? Try to understand how it overlaps with your agenda, and make yourself useful to them BEFORE they even notice you!

Oh, and read Cernovich's blog. He tells you all of this and more. Apply it!

Blogger Franz Lyonheart December 22, 2016 11:06 AM  

Husband works very hard, and I try to make a comfort for him.

You're a keeper. Keep at it! Fantastic that you are happy and trust me husband is also happy with it; unless heavily blue pilled (I hope not for both your sakes). And without a doubt, children are absolutely happy that mommy is around.

When he comes home tired from work, do you have his favourite drink ready for him? And give him minimum 30 minutes to settle in back home. His mind will still be on those dratted office politics. Thereafter ask him about his day. When he opens up... Only then trouble him with domestic issues around the house and children.

Why? Because that approach "just works". Tried and successfully tested through centuries.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 22, 2016 11:16 AM  

"The greatest leaders are those who make leadership look entirely effortless, because they are so good at selecting lieutenants and sergeants, delegating decisions to them, and successfully communicating the organization's vision, that they literally have nothing left to do."

See Horatio Nelson for one of the best examples of this. He won both the Nile and Tralfalgar without a single operationally important signal. His captains were thoroughly briefed on Nelson's intent, how he thought it would play out...and knew that Nelson expected them to modify things on the fly.

Blogger Servant December 22, 2016 11:28 AM  

Then let them go.

Wait school environment? Let them go. World needs miners and object lessons. Any who strong correlation between kids who enjoy school for school and should be there.

Teach the others a trade.

Blogger Servant December 22, 2016 11:33 AM  

Then let them go.

Wait school environment? Let them go. World needs miners and object lessons. Any who strong correlation between kids who enjoy school for school and should be there.

Teach the others a trade.

Blogger Mountain Man December 22, 2016 11:42 AM  

OT:

http://www.vocativ.com/386579/isis-lists-u-s-churches-to-attack-during-the-holidays/

Honestly - anyone who doesn't CC when they go to church is foolish. If you live in a state that outlaws this form of self defense - move.

Blogger Mountain Man December 22, 2016 11:48 AM  

@21
I once worked for a paper company that fit your story to a T. It was a dysfunctional cluster - f*!k...with the strong man at the top. He was a barnacle who had survived decades of various ownerships. The work environment nearly made me go insane. Think of Dunder Mifflin sans the women.

Blogger Orville December 22, 2016 11:48 AM  

Speaking of favorite gammas a Marist poll has figured out why Scalzi's blog stats are down. His blog name is the most annoying phrase to people.

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/index.php?s=whatever

Blogger JACIII December 22, 2016 11:53 AM  

Anchorman wrote:Leadership and management are two very different skills.

In the spec ops world, there's a saying, "You lead people. You manage resources."


In modern corporate america the difference between leadership and management is lies. Leaders lead; managers lie.

Anonymous Takin' a Look December 22, 2016 11:54 AM  

OT

Anybody here from Mexico? I'm reading about a massive and sudden gas shortage within the last two days.

Blogger Latigo3 December 22, 2016 11:55 AM  

Excellent post Vox.
I have been in several leadership positions over the years and recently I have had to up my game and so I have been reading more. Along with Gorilla Mindset, I have read of couple of Cernovich's recommendations (Patton on Leadership is one of them) and what I see in Trump is amazing. His decisions for leadership positions shows that he is capable of making proper decisions, he can think tactically and strategically. It is not just being able to delegate, those that you put in positions underneath you, need to believe that you will be there with them to see the completion of whatever it is they are working on. If you have never finished anything, people will see it. It's not just telling people what to do.
I am impressed so far with Trump's appointments, while the Left keeps whining he keeps making decisions.

Blogger John Williams December 22, 2016 12:00 PM  

Ironic Napoleon 12pdr should say that. Napoleon had Field Marshals, who, did the same thing. Grand Marshal Ney, for instance.

Blogger Badger Brigadon December 22, 2016 12:59 PM  

The worst leaders are also those who make leadership look entirely effortless, but not because it is, they just leave everything undone while they take expensive vacations or pursue hobbies.

Look at Obama

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable December 22, 2016 1:06 PM  

But office politics and SJW convergence are so bad right now that I've seen leaders with yuge potential and talent squeezed out or chased off just because they refused to play the game

A saying that changed my life: "'Office politics' is what 'relationship management' gets called by people that aren't any good at it." You see how empowering that is? It reframes the situation from an environment that you suffer helplessly to a skill that you learn, practice and improve.

Anonymous Drummergirl December 22, 2016 1:18 PM  

@5 Anchorman - spot on.

"Because most people seldom find themselves in positions of leadership, they have absolutely no idea what it entails."
It's also the reason people can make idiotic comments like, "Great leaders aren't born, they're made!". They think if they just take one more course or workshop (taught by other limp-wristed, non-leaders) that somehow, magically, they can become a great leader too!
It's amazing in this age of credentialitis, how people think that having a title makes you a leader. These are the same losers who can't figure out why half of America flocked to Trump. They have no idea what real leadership is.

Blogger Gordon December 22, 2016 1:41 PM  

Mexico is now a net importer of US refined petroleum. Pemex cannot keep up.

Blogger Ingot9455 December 22, 2016 1:41 PM  

I commonly advise this book:

"The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make" by Hans Finzel

It's a quick, fun read and covers a lot of the things mentioned above. It's also easy to get a used copy for a penny+shipping cheap through Amazon.

It uses a servant-leadership model with Jesus as a common example and flips the traditional 'organizational chart' upside down, with the leader at the bottom. The leader's job is not to be above his people, but to remove obstacles from their paths. (And setting the path and direction is part of that.) And there's more.

The only thing it doesn't cover is how to deal with actively hostile people in your organization, but that's another topic.

Blogger Ingot9455 December 22, 2016 1:46 PM  

@41 @47 yes, Like Venezuela but not as bad; Mexico has loads of oil but it is 'heavy crude' and hard to refine with plenty of nasty sulfur compounds. So while they can pump up plenty of oil, they have to send some to high-power high-tech refineries in the US to get it properly refined. Recently, Pemex has been having refinery problems and that's caused a supply line breakdown of some kind.

(Libya, as a counterexample, is known for its light, sweet, easy to refine, high-yield crude oil, which is why so much interest in a little terrorist middle eastern dinko zone over the years.)

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 22, 2016 1:57 PM  

@2 James Dixon
Picking good people was the key to Reagan's Presidency.

Like Al Haig and George Herbert Walker Bush?

I suspect Trump is going to be even better at it than he was.

Very much hope so.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr December 22, 2016 2:01 PM  

@43: Actually, Napoleon tended toward highly centralized command. Only a handful of the Marshals were really capable of independent command.

I've got a paper comparing and contrasting the two leaders. Very different command styles, very similar results. Understanding why this was so has important implications for modern command and control doctrine. Especially since the Fog of War in the 20th Century has been hit with some powerful ISR and C2 foglamps in the 21st.

All I need is a publisher...

Blogger Garuda1 December 22, 2016 2:02 PM  

@32 And you have way too much of the "it's easy; just do it!" mentality that I've seen from many successful people who sneer down upon those of us who haven't had success YET.

As for personal plans regarding life in general and my career specifically, I have charted out what I need and what it will take, and I am progressing in that direction.

Perhaps I've been too vague, as we are almost completely in agreement regarding what to do. My difficulty is simply having to help support my mother and two of my sisters after my father died (mom stayed at home and homeschooled all of 6 of us, so I'm happy to help her now), and take care of my daughter (I'm homeschooling her myself) while simply trying to make enough extra money to progress my true career plan.

I'm not complaining about "opportunities" or "challenges" that haven't been delivered to me on a silver platter, dude. My father was a damned hard worker, and he always taught us that we must work if we want to eat, and work even harder if we want more than just survival. I pick places I'd like to work, I apply, I speak to managers and leaders, educate myself on company history and policy, and I work hard from there. And that's all just to get funds flowing for my ultimate goals.

Please don't mistake my post as a complaint, or a "woe is me" situation; I am not unhappy with my work or life (I am a Christian, so there is always cause for rejoicing), I'm simply explaining what I've seen. Now I'm sure in more respectable careers many of the issues I encounter would be absent simply because of the environment and absolute determination to put results ahead of feelings.

Ultimately, however, I go where God leads me. My life is His first, and if He wishes to use me in the lowly positions or in the greatest heights, I'll follow Him.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 22, 2016 2:06 PM  

The worst Gamma Male boss to have is a sales manager.

Sales is a tough gig but there is a high to be had in Closing.

Honestly Sales Manager is bullshit term. It should be Sales Leader. An alpha Sales Leader inspires nearly fanatic loyalty from his men. I mean you'll name your son after the guy.

But a Gamma Sales Manager creates the most miserable working environment imaginable. Everything is always the fault of his men. "You all are so stupid you can barely read the prospectus. How did I get stuck with such shitty salesmen." And more and more in a similar tone.

After that come a frantic period of pointless activity, usually revisiting dead leads and prospecting burnt up lists, all in the ridiculous hope that tons of activity will somehow cover his for having missed his sales quota.

When you find out you have one these on your hands it has to be dealt with quickly because they will poison an office for a long time after you've fired them.

Blogger Aeoli Pera December 22, 2016 2:38 PM  

The reason Trump may turn out to be a much better president than expected is because he shows the signs of a top-notch leader. He clearly likes to surround himself with high-quality subordinates and give them as much responsibility as they can handle.

I'm finally coming around to the opinion that Trump is some kinda genius in disguise, but it's not clear yet how much of his 88-D underwater chess is due to picking good subordinates. I'd love to get a copy of his transcripts.

Blogger Badger Brigadon December 22, 2016 4:18 PM  

Success is not easy, it is hard work.
But 'just do it' is the operative word. Keep plugging away at it... it never comes easily, but you don't let anyone KNOW that it isn't easy.

Your best bet is to do what you enjoy and become the best there is at it. I don't mean games or toys, I mean everyone has something that they enjoy that can be cobbled into success... The real secret is to find WHAT it is that you are willing to keep plugging away at and work harder than anyone else at.

You will find that it's not easy, it is that you enjoy how hard it is, that leads to success.

Blogger The Rev December 22, 2016 4:26 PM  

MY current boss is a beautiful model of management mistakes. If you don't take initiative, he freaks out because you're lazy. If you take initiative, he freaks out because he would have done it differently. If you ask how he would do it, he freaks out because he's "not here to do your job."

All of his instructions are contradictory and he refuses to acknowledge his past orders ever existed. So I ignore him and do what I want. Unsurprisingly, everyone else loves me, but he hates my fucking guts.

Needless to say, I'm looking for new jobs.

Blogger SemiSpook37 December 22, 2016 5:01 PM  

@32

See, that's the thing. I'm not expecting someone to hand me something and say, "do this". More recently, I've been in situations where from the outside, they appear to be possibilities for growth, and then once I get in there, it's anything but, and I'm not exactly in a place where I can ask the question (or better yet, make the demand) about avenues of improvement. And even before then, it felt like in certain instances to even broach the subject of improvement on my part was met with feigned interest or outright disgust.

I'm not saying what you've suggested is wrong, because it's not. The issue I've run into as of late has been more of trying to justify my existence and turn passing interests into something a little more lucrative not only for myself, but for those around me. Really is tougher to do when your social and professional circles aren't as big as you'd like them to be, or that too few people share the same interests as you do.

Blogger VD December 22, 2016 6:55 PM  

All of his instructions are contradictory and he refuses to acknowledge his past orders ever existed. So I ignore him and do what I want. Unsurprisingly, everyone else loves me, but he hates my fucking guts.

If you're going to leave anyhow, have you considered going over his head and telling his boss that you should have his job? The chances are reasonable that they know he's a fuck-up, and they might rather lose him than you.

Anonymous Shakey December 22, 2016 7:02 PM  

That description of what a good leader should do reinforces my recent actions quite nicely. I had a pretty blonde woman installed above me as supervisor, and she was the epitome if the bean-counting nitpicker. She was more obstructionist to me and my job than she was helpful, all the while telling me if I needed any help to let her know and how "We're not against you here." Is it possible for a gamma female to exist?

Anonymous Marvin Boggs December 22, 2016 7:43 PM  

Time for a visit to the ophthalmologist. I read the post twice before I figured out "German" was actually "Gamma". Dang, there goes another grand for new glasses.

Blogger Lobo Util December 22, 2016 8:41 PM  

When your boss talks about empowerment, he is looking for a way to blame you for NOT doing the things he tells you NOT to do.

Blogger wreckage December 22, 2016 9:22 PM  

@59 not only possible, they seem to be socialized to it. Generations of Empowered Women - Gamma nitpickers who shit everybody to the back teeth - have indoctrinated generations of girls into believing that THAT is what a successful woman looks like.

Since women are more likely to judge success by the social network they're in, and the only thing Gamma actually does even slightly well is maintain ostentatious social dominance in a limited and ever narrowing social network, they are more likely to believe the behaviour successful, and less likely to gather support for removing such a person.

This explains neatly the known toxicity issues with female-dominated workplaces. They're just that much less likely and able to cull Gammas.

Blogger wreckage December 22, 2016 9:25 PM  

Whereas if you get a bunch of already-sexually-successful women (mothers returning to the workforce after 2+ kids hit highschool) and put them under the supervision of an already-successful Alpha male, you can get a fucking amazing workforce.

Blogger bruce December 23, 2016 2:01 AM  

New administration, new source-greaser articles. But yes, Trump's got some really good picks.

Plentiful 22 ammo back in the stores for the last month. My vote is justified.

Anonymous RedJack December 23, 2016 9:52 AM  

I have seen this myself.

However, good leaders are rare. Most in power are "managers".

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd December 23, 2016 12:10 PM  

Shakey wrote:Is it possible for a gamma female to exist?

Gamma behavior seems to be pretty close to normal female behavior.

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