Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Never pass the buck"

Over the next couple days I'm going to be communicating out a change related to financial policy with which some of our staff may take issue. This change was initiated by those several levels up from me organizationally, and while I think the change makes sense given the information I have, there is a temptation to distance myself from it in order to engender allegiance from those I lead and work alongside.

The timing then was appropriate, and perhaps providential, for my starting in tonight on the book "First, break all the rules - What the world's greatest managers do differently". In the introduction, an interview with a very successful restaurant manager is recounted in which he shares a few helpful management tips he has picked up during his 15-year career. All of the tips were insightful; one struck a particular chord...

"And especially important: Never pass the buck. Never say, 'I think this is a crazy idea, but corporate insists.' Passing the buck may make your little world easy, but the organism as a whole, sorry, the organization as a whole, will be weakened. So in the long run, you are actually making your life worse."