Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Issue of Authority

In Wisconsin the Governor ordered the police to remove the protesters from the State house, the police refused to and supported the protesters. In Central America the same thing happened to one of their presidents. In Libya members of the Air Force refused to bomb the people and defected. We are seeing the Police and military in countries throughout the world refusing to follow the orders of their leaders. This is just the beginning.

People are rejoicing that "the people" are taking power; but, then what? I mean what happens next? It is easy to take down authority; but, what do you replace it with? The choices are "leaders" or direct democracy (or a lot more say in what happens). Lets put this in another context, at what point in time, by what measure would you believe people are capable of ruling themselves and you?

Societies without leaders never progress. Leadership is a burden. I manage a large number of people and have managed people for 39 years. My attitude towards supervision is based on my having supervised people since I was 12. I am not a micro-manager, I very much believe in letting people do their work and leaving them alone. My job is to let them know what needs to be done and where we are headed. Most do not care where we are headed and only care to know what they need to do. That is human nature.

How can "the people" make valid decisions on our future if they don't care where their organizations, societies, governments are headed? Now lets look at Wisconsin, what happens when nobody, including the police, do their job? What happens when everyone follows their own rules? If you say it sounds great, do you feel the same way about child molesters? Don't snap answer questions, it means that you did not think about what was being asked, you were giving an opinion that wasn't thought out.

Leadership came about because people did better in groups. Humans are pair bonders and not pack animals, we survived and thrived because we learned to work together; but, it only worked when the smartest of us decided what direction we should be headed in. I am not in favor of totalitarianism, I hate it, I am a major proponent of privacy and I am a big believer in order, fairness and input on decisions. The problem is that most people are selfish and if you put them in charge you get disaster, as we have now.

You cannot legislate to change human nature, some learn and some don't until forced to. That is reality and people only learn, at best, at the speed that they are capable of. We are not all of the same wisdom either. Wisdom takes a lot of time. Young people know things, old people understand what they mean.

I was once asked to teach someone what I know, I was told that I should take a few hours and show this other person how to do what I do. I wondered how I would teach understanding the law in three hours, it took me a lifetime and three years of law school and 20 years of writing contracts. I didn't know how to teach 30 years of supervising or 30 years of accounting or 30 years of Public Works experience in a couple of hours to someone who wasn't as smart as me or someone who was. That is the youth difference. They don't get it because even if they have the education, they don't have the experience.

In my career, I was the best there had ever been at what I did and still, I learned from those who had wisdom and experience. I may have surpassed them; but, I learned from them first. My career is at an end, I will be done in three to eight years, I am not going to be that young leader anymore, I will retire an old sheep dog. I would hate to think that there was not a young aggressive sheep dog to replace me, sheep need sheep dogs and shepherds, I am not a shepherd, maybe someday.

Recognizing how we grow and what we are, I believe we should listen to our elders that have earned being listened to. They earn it by being better, not by promising us more cookies. If someone promises you a cookie, punch them in the nose; but, don't vote for them.

In order for society to progress, leaders must evolve (learn from the past) and. I don't know, I lost my train of thought, too many interruptions. Be well.

No comments: