Recently, with an upward potential of $300 million (+ or – a few hundred million,) our nation’s leadership unveiled healthcare.gov. It was to be the saving grace for all of our insurance woes, however, it’s a nightmarish blunder. Fundamentally, the program is doomed from a simple mathematics standpoint, but that’s not the purpose of this post. After the unveiling of the website, it was evident that it could not perform the most basic of its functionalities. The White House claims they had no idea the website was not ready to go live, but now it’s becoming evident that many knew, even top administration staff. That is a scandal, just without lingerie. (more…)
Over a decade ago, I found myself squinting at a lady twice my age as she was crying telling my partners and I that “Dallas doesn’t care about me – he doesn’t even say good morning when he comes in!” I hate to admit it, but she was partially right. My high octane working mentality made others feel like a unit of measurement. I once had come to the conclusion that if you clearly identified employee’s responsibilities into quantifiable measures and gave real-time data back to the employee, you would in essence govern them. Many factors of this practice are very useful; most people have a desire to know how they are performing. My error was undervaluing leadership. People have a yearning to be led, not governed. Governing and policing activities drain energy whereas leading creates energy. The tendency to police arises when you don’t clearly define goals and objectives. Concerns of who checked their personal email or took a personal phone call vanish in a well-led, results-driven environment.
In courtrooms all across the country, judges have asked defendants, “What is your defense?” To which many have answered “I was unaware I was breaking the law,” and judges always respond, “Ignorance of the law is no defense.” You see, “I was not aware” is not excusable in the court of law. The rule is, it’s your duty to understand the laws of where you live. Throughout history, the unspoken law of leadership has been similar: if you are in charge, it’s your responsibility to be aware. Today’s leadership in Washington seems to have a default answer of “I was not aware,” as if this statement exonerates accountability. “I was not aware” may be the truth, but as a leader it’s not an excusable excuse. If your people didn’t tell you, they are still your people.