Bullshit Sandwich By Katko

Bullshit Sandwich By Katko

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Leadership, Douchebags & the theory that you can be one and not the other.

So, today's blabbering is about leadership. Leadership is a responsibility, an honor, and a skill that can be learned, honed and nurtured.

I do not claim to be an expert on leadership, or a great leader. I am however, a student of leadership. I try to be a good leader both in my work and as a parent. I believe strongly in leading from "the front". I believe in modeling behavior that you expect your subordinates to follow. (or kids to emulate). I'm very very proud of the fact that both of my kids have great work ethics, and strong senses of whats right & whats wrong & I'm pretty sure they get that, at least in part from watching me work my ass off most of their life, and listening to me bitch & pontificate on whats right & whats wrong... But enough of that, I don't wanna write about how bitchin my kids & I are... we are, but today I wanna write about DOUCHEBAGS.

It seems an inordinate number of people who rise to leadership positions are also in fact major fucking douchebags. Some are idiot douchebags, some are vindictive, petty douchebags, some are power-hungry, ambitious douchebags, and some are lazy, worthless douchebags.

The Army's Leadership Manual (FM 22-100) centers around the leadership principal of "Be, Know, Do".

"Be" is a place where douchebags really fail... it refers to living the Army's core values. Those values-loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage are never present in a douchebag. However douchebags often will tell you at the top of their lungs just how loyal, selfless and courageous they are... it's a weak attempt to throw a smoke screen in front of their douchebaggery while they plot the next cowardly, disloyal, selfish act that will, they hope get them a promotion or to the golf course quicker, or just give them a little more breathing room.

"Know" is... well, knowing. Knowing your job, knowing the policies & procedures. Having a technical grasp of the job. Many douchebags are very very knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the job, especially policies & procedures, because most policy and procedure manuals are like the Bible, or a Bob Dylan song, wide open to wide ranging interpretation - you can always find a section or sub-paragraph that at least kinda justifies his or her douchebaggery. They study those manuals like they were Yeshiva kids studying the Torah. It's the only thing most douchebag leaders actually work on - finding ways to justify the fact that they suck as a leader & lack the courage or imagination, or character to actually LEAD.

"Do" is where the rubber meets the road. Much like "be", "do" is about living the values that you espouse, and acting on them. You can be a courageous person in the safety and security of your home or office or "comfort zone", but when push comes to shove, when the chips are down, when the shit hits the fan, when all the stupid cliche's run out- then, what the fuck are you gonna "do"? A good leader does what he has to do and lives with the consequences, a douchebag tries to find a reason to avoid the unpleasant, delegate it, wrap him/herself in an obscure policy and then craft a way to blame his cowardice on someone else.

My life has been chock-full of douchebag leaders, but never, ever have I seen a higher concentration than at an un-named company I may or may not currently work for. The art of douchebaggery is practiced by the leadership at this company with impunity, and pride. The ability to take personal responsibility for your mistakes and failures is a measure of you character... These douchebags hold meetings and hearings and douchebag circle-jerks with the sole purpose of figuring out just WHO to pin "it" on. "It" is usually some kind of accident, incident or even act of god and invariably, they find a policy or procedure that has some tenuous relationship to the incident, decide a subordinate didn't follow it, and lay the blame there. However, when it makes their lives easier,they allow subordinates to act in direct opposition to the "values" they claim to have because to be corrective, to "do" the right thing is hard, inconvenient or unpleasant, and they justify their cowardice with a barrage of douchy bullshit.

It's so inspiring to find leaders that mentor, live the standards they set for others and actually seem to care. Unfortunately they are the exception to the douchebag rule.

As a leader, I am in a position right now where if I was my own subordinate, I would fire myself. Follow that shit? Kinda convoluted huh? Stick with me here. I violated a key and sacred policy. I knew I was doing it when I was doing it, and I knew the consequences, and still I did it. I don't regret it,and I don't make any excuses for it. I will gladly take personal responsibility for it and move on, but I think I naively believed that in some way I could expose the douchbags for who and what they are... but alas douchebags protect their own, and boats don't rock, and you can't fight City Hall or, a cabal of douchebags.

You, me, none of us will ever fully escape douchebag leaders. They are as much a part of life as traffic jams, bills and airport security, a pain in the ass of varying degrees. We will have douchebag Presidents & douchebag bosses & on down the line.

So if you ever find yourself being a leader, check out FM 22-100, and if you don't have the stones to "be, know,do" then find a leader that does & follow him/her, just don't be a fucking douchebag.

We have enough of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment