Sunday, June 16, 2013

When Your Only Tool is a Hammer.

Former President Bill Clinton and NJ Governor Chis Christie had a joint interview this past week, in which they discussed the role of government in dealing with major storms.  In this exchange they agreed with it would be great to be able to rule by fiat.  I realize this was presented as a lighthearted option, but it holds a nugget of truth.  In any endeavor it is much easier to just demand people do what you want.
There are libraries filled with books on leadership.  Government and business spend millions of dollars annually attempting to teach its leadership how to lead.  We promote people based on their performance and assessments of their potential to lead.  We elect politicians based on their ability to accomplish what we want through their leadership.  Yet, at the end of the day, so often these men and woman who we set apart to lead, look into their tool box of leadership and pull out a hammer to get their way.  Rather than making the effort to bring outsiders into the problem and working to understand the scope of an issue and all the options, it is easier to spit out a solution and move on.
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.  I suppose this gives real meaning to the Simon and Garfunkel song El Condor Pasa.

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