8 Nov 13

Currently, risk-avoidance (at least in the public sector) always favors doing nothing!
Doing nothing is invariably safer and easier to “justify” than doing something, particularly “something” that subsequently goes in the toilet.

Our fault. Their fault. Nobody’s fault. It doesn’t matter, and no one cares!

And, in a case like a mall-shooting, where few details are known in the short term, everyone knows it will likely not have a “happy ending,” no matter what.

And, when there is a “bad” result (even when it could have been a lot worse), and no matter what first-responders did or didn’t do, nor how fast they got there, they will be unmercifully censured and second-guessed. There will be no forgiveness nor “understanding,” not by grandstanding politicians, not by the ghoulish media, not by people and families affected, not by hungry personal-injury attorneys.

So, as long as that is the case, supervisors will clearly see which side of their bread is buttered. As in much of the public sector, promotions are conferred, not for bold, decisive action that saves innocent lives, but for “not rocking the boat.” Hence, many are promoted, for purely political reasons, into positions for which they are altogether unqualified. And, the fact that they are in over their heads will manifest itself, without fail, during a crisis!

When the dust settles, no one is going to say “thank-you” anyway, so one’s career progression is usually best served by doing nothing and subsequently, sheepishly claiming you didn’t have enough information to act.

That defines the difference between a real leader and an “atta-boy.” We have far too many of the later, not nearly enough of the former!

There will be more “mall-incidents” as the holidays approach, and we’ll continue to see the identical scenario. All the same motivations remain in place.

Again, you’re on your own!

“Delay is the deadliest manifestation of denial!”