Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blind (or Bald) Ambition

The Peter Principle in Action!
Ambition in the service of ambition is bad.
Instead, the problem is with ambition in the pursuit of what MacIntyre called the goods of effectiveness - power and wealth....

Such ambition can be corrosive for an organization. It encourages workers to invest in general skills - the sort that can be assessed by one’s superiors - rather than technical ones, with the result that average productivity declines. It causes us to regard our fellow workers as rivals rather than colleagues and so impedes the cooperation and open communication that is necessary for corporate success.

The skills you need to be a good senior manager are extremely - vanishingly - rare. ... It follows that most people who aspire to top management jobs are ill-equipped to do them*. They are, therefore, guilty either of a lack of self-knowledge and over-confidence, or of appalling selfishness - they want the job even though it would damage the organization.

So, far from applauding ambition we should, in most cases, oppose it.
Man, that explains so much about the senior management where I work...

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