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"It is right to address injustice, but below a certain threshold the emotional maturity to be deteched is more valuable."

the problem, in my experience, is that situations will worsen to whatever your tolerance level. I tried doing "whatever" to various racist, sexist comments. You don't have to be a bully or a major political player, but thinking you can get away with avoiding politics seems naive.

Michelle Malay Carter


I'm new to your blog. I enjoy your perspective immensely. I blog about how current management systems drive a$$hole behavior, and how redesign of systems would greatly reduce a$$hole episodes.

What strikes me about this is that organizations allow the blame game in the first place. If the project were set up appropriately in the first place, there would be one accountable project leader. Everyone understands from the get go that if the projects fails, it rests with him/her.

Now, project accountability without project authority is cruel (and common) and causes corruption and dysfunction. So, in order to be able to dole out this type of accountability, the organization must also have a set of institutionalized project manager authorities. There are 4 - the power to veto appointment of a person to the team, the power to assign tasks to the team members (that they are accountable to do as if it were assigned by their manager), the power to report back team member effectiveness to the team member's managers, the power to initiate removal of a non-performing team member.

How many times are project managers given team members who feel free to ignore them and the project manager has no recourse? This happens quite frequently to non-line staff personnel who are trying to carry out a project.

In parallel with this, all project team members would have a set of accountabilities and authorities relative to the project that emanated from their manager, as it would be only the manager who would appoint or approve their appointment to the team.

Ultimately, the team members give input and advise, but the accountable project manager decides when there is dissention. It has to be this way if the project manager is ultimately accountable. There can be no such thing as "team accountability" unless you want buck passing and the blame game which always ends in deadlock.

These are just a few thoughts on how work within organizations could be greatly enabled with some re-thinking in the area of accountabilities and authorities.

I blogged about this in a post called - Rethinking Accountability - Because the Hog Won't Butcher Himself.


Michelle Malay Carter


From a non-slacker perspective, which you may or may not be interested in, having that "whatever" attitude translates into "keeping your eye on the ball". When at work we are busy producing, managing, growing and earning money, and we wouldn't have a payroll to worry about if we were spending our time jousting amongst ourselves. It is right to address injustice, but below a certain threshold the emotional maturity to be deteched is more valuable.
just my 2.


Tim Kramer

"There are far too many organizations where speaking-up just gets you in trouble"

I had a situation where during my annual review I was asked to stop telling the truth about the company so much. This was the same annual review where I received a 22% raise (years before I got 9% and 12% raises) so obviously I was doing something right.

I guess it is just better to lie about the company?

Great stuff on this site by the way.

KP Springfield

Indifference is critical to being a successful slacker. People always think having a "Whatever!" attitude is detrimental, but let me tell you, exuding a "Whatever!" attitude in the workplace is one of the greatest assets a successful slacker can have. It completely numbs you when company stock inevitably tanks, bonuses are cut, your CEO is indicted on investor fraud, and you eventually lose your job.

And Bob, I was serious about the burn quality thing. I figured that for those who were seriously disappointed in the book - which I'm sure there will be many - at least they can take solace in burning it to brimstone and recover some shred of satisfaction.

KP Springfield

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