Friday, August 8, 2014

"Officials want to multiply subordinates, not rivals"

"Rather than seeking to promote a talented 'super-competent' junior employee, Peter suggested that an incompetent manager may set them up to fail or dismiss them because they will likely 'violate the first commandment of hierarchical life with incompetent leadership: [namely that] the hierarchy must be preserved'." - Wikipedia on Lawrence J. Peter, author of The Peter Principle.

The title is one of Parkinson's law.

I have noticed this in the supposedly "free market" (which has never existed).

My father was a general contractor, and I still get along better with blue-collar guys than faggots with advanced degrees, say the worthless MBA.

Since I was raised blue-collar/working class, when I got out of college I didn't have much of a clue about certain things.

I used to work for an MBA who thought he was the publisher of a daily newspaper. He promoted a guy with psychopathic tendencies to the manager of classifieds. For some bizarre reason he also put him in charge of two weeklies owned by the paper (I was the editor of one of them). This semi-psychopath was a catastrophe, yet it took seven years to get rid of him.

I realized that the top officials in a business don't hire people who are better than them because they could be a threat. They hire people like them, ony not as competent. Then those people hire people like them, only less competent.

It was astonishing. A hires B, who is worse than A, then B hires C, who is worse than B. So there is a cascade effect of incompetence and stupidity.

On the other hand, I noticed in the blue-collar trades, the boss wants the most competent people he can get, and is a mentor to them. That's what my father was.

I have never seen anyone white collar who was a mentor to anyone. All I ever saw was backstabbing and politics and envy.

"First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

"Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc." - Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy


Ingemar said...

>>On the other hand, I noticed in the blue-collar trades, the boss wants the most competent people he can get, and is a mentor to them.

That's because older tradesmen, while they have the know-how, lack the ability that they youngin's have.

Pushing papers and sitting in offices doesn't require all that much effort.

kurt9 said...

It just like it says in the Entrepreneurs Manual (by Richard M. White):

First rate people hire first rate people. Second rate people hire third rate people. Remember that, if you are a start up, you are not a bureaucracy like your competitors.

Anonymous said...

John D. Rockefeller was supposed to have said that the most important job senior Standard Oil executives had was to train somebody to do their work so they would be able to sit back and think of new ways for Standard Oil to make money.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I work for a professional service firm, which is a business model with its own particular sociopathies. My impression of corporate America is that it is going crazy. The schleps get pushed down to the front lines, and senior managers sit in their offices and send e-mails to each other.

My father's father was a 'company man' and was generously rewarded. My father tried to follow that course and got chewed up and spit out. The business culture seemed to change drastically some time in the late 1980's.

Bob Wallace said...

One of my friend's father worked for a large corporation - good pay, taken care of. My friend tried it - nothing. Things changed that fast.