Tuesday, January 27, 2009

With great power comes great responsibility

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” - Luke 12:48

I am sure lot of you have been disgusted by the recent news of John Thain, Ex-CEO of Merrill Lynch, spending $1.2 million in corporate funds to decorate his office, which included an $87,000 Persian area rug and a $35,000 personal toilet cistern custom made for him! The timing of it all makes me furious! At one end, Thain was preaching the virtues of cost control, telling employees to reduce expenses including car services, entertainment and travel, and at the other, he was spending a ridiculous amount of money on his office. All this in the midst of asking the government for a bailout of his troubled company!

There are a few lessons to be learnt here. First, those who aspire to be leaders need to develop an attitude of accountability and responsibility. People entrust leaders to discharge their duties in a competent manner and not abuse authority granted to them. So higher up you go in the organization, higher the expectation on standard of conduct and greater the scrutiny. An abuse of this power is a betrayal of the public trust. You might get away once or twice abusing it but it will come back to get you one day.

Second, people are just people. The subject of leadership has captivated American business audience more than anything. There are also many charismatic leaders out there whose heroic characteristics seem to produce this sense of awe in the minds of followers. What you are getting attracted to is just one of the facets of that individual. Learn from what they do, but don’t put them on a pedestal. They are no divine beings and have the same physiological needs of food, water, breathing, excretion, sleep, sex, etc, like you and me. So don't let just one facet of theirs which you find attractive mesmerize you. Snap out of it!

There you have it. Now, I will get off my soap box!


Source: http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2009/1/12-million-spent-to-redecorate-thains-office

1 comment:

  1. I know a lot of people with a lot of responsibility but no power :-)