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Number of posts : 348
Age : 106
Location : the 3rd rock
Registration date : 2009-03-10

PostSubject: leadership   Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:25 pm

A good lesson:


Dovere's long article is full of detailed accounts of an ongoing disagreement between the Clinton campaign's national headquarters and the various local teams leading efforts at the state level in key battleground states. Yet, amidst the story of these arguments was this single line that was both astonishing and yet predictable:

Politico spoke to a dozen officials working on or with Clinton’s Michigan campaign, and more than a dozen scattered among other battleground states, her Brooklyn headquarters and in Washington who describe an ongoing fight about campaign tactics, an inability to get top leadership to change course.

Then again, according to senior people in Brooklyn, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook never heard any of those complaints directly from anyone on his state teams before Election Day.

There is no shortage of wisdom available to leaders teaching against the dangers of surrounding themselves with "yes men," usually citing Abraham Lincoln's Team of Rivals in the process. Any leader who actively seeks out uniformity of opinion and only positive news is doomed to fail.

Far more common, however, is the phenomenon of the management team putting the leader into the self-reinforcing isolation of an echo chamber all on their own. In Hans Christian Andersen's iconic tale of "The Emperor's New Clothes," each of the emperor's ministers had his own self-interested reason for keeping the lie going:

"I know I'm not stupid," the man thought, "so it must be that I'm unworthy of my good office. That's strange. I mustn't let anyone find it out, though." So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colors and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor he said, "It held me spellbound."

If campaign manager Robbie Mook was kept in the dark about the concerns of various state officials, it's hard to imagine it was for reasons much different than those of the Emperor's ministers: self-image protection.
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