Much ado about bureaucrats…

I’m a civil servant. I’ve been one for years. I try to avoid the classic pitfalls – but it’s difficult. Bureaucrats (or plain ‘crats if I’m feeling condescending) avoid making decisions, blame everyone but themselves for work failures, are quick to complain, take credit for others’ work and ideas, are plain lazy and try and keep a low profile. I’ve spent most of my career being a square peg in a round hole, made many decisions (some good ones), did a fair bit of work and avoided the other classic symptoms. As you can guess, I’ve not risen very high in the hierarchy> This is by design: look up a book titled “The Peter Principle” for the explanation. I’ll wait.  You’re back. Did you find and read it ? If the answer is no, well congratulations you have the makings of a ‘crat.

If you did read it, well that puts you above most in understanding the true issue with “Management”. The good ones are rarer than hen’s teeth. They may be in the civil service or in private industry. They are motivated by the same thing that revs my engine: the capacity to understand their employee’s needs (empathy) coupled with a willingness to work hard  (initiative) to achieve the goals with clarity (intelligence) and the ethics (honesty) to reward each staff according to their work and effort. I’m rather proud of this sentence. Someone might think it’s worthy to be plagiarized.  I’ve had managers meet 2 or 3 of these standards but never all of them. Maybe in another life.

Whats the point here you ask ? What makes a good manager also makes a good employee. Think about it, apply it and teach it to your children. If they ever work in a bureaucracy – they will thank you.

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