The Sacred Handbook for Leaders
A Training Manual That No Deceitful Manager Should Be Without
(A Satirical Work In Progress)
by Mark Liberator
This article was formerly listed under the titles Loathsome Leaders, So You Want to Screw Your Employees, and Deceptive Democracy in the Workplace. We decided to go with the current title to attract more free-thinkers. We all know that most, if not all, leaders are boneheads.
We have found that the best approach for being a modern-day leader is to implement methods of collaboration. Unless the business in question is structured like IBM or some other highly inflexible, top-down organization, methods of collaboration will demonstrate itself as the best model for business in our modern-day era.
TIPS and TRICKS
In order to facilitate decision making there are some real neat ways to do so without sacrificing an iota of control. A modern-day leader can form committees, use doublespeak, make promises, break unions, squash critical thinkers, and minimize leader weaknesses. Even if the organization in question is not a business, run it like one anyway.
Form CommitteesThis is the most cherished tool a leader has at his/her disposal. Allowing a committee to make difficult decisions can prolong a career if the committees are carefully created and maintained.Use Doublespeak
- Place many newly hired employees on each committee. Newly hired employees do plenty of information gathering before they become outspoken. They are unfamiliar with all of the delicate intricacies the committees will face. Also, they are so happy to have a job that they tend to be nonconfrontational.
- Leaders desperately need to be part of the committees. A study has shown that having both supervisors and employees on the same committee will cause the employees to eventually agree with their supervisors over time, for a whole host of obvious reasons.
- Limit the term lengths for the employees on the committees. In the name of letting everyone play a part in these democratic committees, creating a revolving door of employees will continue to leave the power base exactly where it belongs -- in the hands of the supervisors/leaders.
- Before these democratic committees meet, have the leaders get together to plan the details of the meetings. Even though each member of a committee has one vote, a unified group of leaders can easily dominate a committee by swaying arguments and voting as a team.Straight out of George Orwell's 1984, doublespeak is a highly ambiguous means of expression. Leaders need to master this art to remain elusive in case any last minute decisions need to be changed or difficult issues need to be directly handled. For instance, during the time of protest surrounding The Vietnam War, Dick Nixon said, "We need to win the peace." A leader, who shall remain nameless, once said, 'I believe in empowering employees' out of one side of his mouth and 'This is not a democracy' out of the other side of his mouth -- all in the same breath.Make PromisesAll businesses, organizations, and power structures operate on fixed budgets and money is always a limiting factor. Allocating funds can be a difficult undertaking especially within political structures. Therefore when an employee in the field comes up with a good idea on how to manage funds, leaders should make a promise to keep to that idea. [Note: leaders are too busy delegating authority to come up with their own good ideas.] Either conflicting promises are inevitable or the budget will make some of the promises impossible to keep. Leaders, especially leaders of leaders, should make employees aware of the situation and then hide in their offices. The debate that ensues will be great for creating divisiveness, which leads to our next point.Break UnionsLeaders must operate as a unified front. They need to find creative ways to split groups like interest groups, unions, clubs, political organizations and even connections made at watercoolers. [Note: leaders should create a warm environment but friendships in the workplace could get to be a problem and must be prevented.] Finding division lines that exist within groups is easy to do but spinning off of them is where the creativity lies. Each situation must be handled based on the mood of the group, desired goal, and history of the people involved. However, making promises or special deals with parts of groups is always a safe bet. With the exception of the last suggestion, this category is the most difficult to express in words. True leaders tend to split groups with natural ease so an exhaustive formula for breaking unions should not be necessary.Squash Critical ThinkersThere might be a small number of people who will catch some of the tips and tricks a modern-day leader will use. A leader should either publicly write critical thinkers off as "wackos" or demote/fire them based on trumped-up charges. Some action needs to be taken with these individuals in order to send a clear message to the collective group [sheep].Minimize Leader WeaknessesLeaders are mainly motivated by greed and/or power. Those leaders who are not motivated by greed and/or power eventually find themselves either in different lines of work or completely insane due to the conflicting interests leadership will create. Critical thinkers will make note of the greed/power issues so a twisted rationale for modern-day decision making needs to be clearly defined beforehand. Even though many of the decisions that leaders make are poorly thought out, done so for short-termed benefits, and/or designed for personal gain, justification needs to be manufactured. Leaders use phrases like "The end justifies the means," "When the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'," "Everyone else is doing it this way," and any handy cliché that is available. Sure these phrases are meaningless, but they work.If the organization in question is not strictly a business, have no fear...
Run the Organization Like a "Business"Many organizations are operating in ways that cannot be made to conform to the usual goose stepping businesses like IBM. For instance, public educational institutions could never be made to operate like businesses for the following reasons:We have done our best to illustrate the methods that modern-day leaders practice [see Dilbert cartooons] mainly through the personal experiences we have had with such leaders. If we have missed any other deceitful techniques that are worthy of printing here, let us know. We would certainly like to broaden this work to encompass the full flavor of a modern-day leader.
- Businesses are able to pick and choose from the materials they use. They can spend more money for higher quality materials if necessary. Public schools cannot weed out the students who are operating at substandard ability levels. Public schools are mandated to accept all students who live within the districts they serve.
- Businesses require a great deal of conformity. Policies, rules, and regulations need to be strictly adhered to. Public schools have to offer second, third and fourth chances for students who are having trouble meeting certain rules. Some districts allow students eighteen (18) unexcused absences per year without being dropped from classes. Keep in mind that schools teach students 180 days per year. Therefore, some schools allow students to be absent 10% of the time. Is there any business that will allow that behavior to continue unchecked?
- Businesses operate under a considerable amount of competition. Those businesses which cannot handle the competition fail and are driven out of the market. Schools are not competitive. They cannot be competitive. Competition has merit so long that students do not lose self-esteem. Teachers are not competitive, even between different school districts, because they try to help each other, which is very foriegn to standard business practices.
- Businesses must remain secret to protect themselves from the extreme competition that exists within the market. Coca-Cola has fierce battles with Pepsi. Colgate and Crest regularly duke it out. Even Pampers and Huggies "fight." Businesses have to be secretive just to keep up with the competition. School districts have no need for trade secrets. The multitude of conferences, workshops, and institutes make trade secrets between and within schools practically nonexistent. Besides, the fate of our nation and planet depends upon the education of our children. There is no such thing as children failing and leaving the market. They have nowhere to go but into society.
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