|Pic from book by Robert J. Ringer: Winning Through Intimidation|
Regarding the budget update:
They say he sounds like a liberal, with no accountability and that he delivered news of a failed Tory promise: to balance the books by the agreed upon time. Got it. What seems to be lacking in the analysis is the why behind sounding like a liberal, with no accountability who breaks promises. So here's a fun angle, let's put Jim Flaherty's budget update into another context. Join me for a brief moment and see if this does not make sense:
As noted, Jim delivered his update to a bunch of conservative friendly yuppies. He was the keynote speaker who cracked jokes, bragged about the awesomeness of Canada and diverted from the real issues. Let's pretend (stretch here...) he had to deliver his 'project' update to the CEO of a real life company with real life accountability to results...join in on how his tone would have carried over to the real world.
CEO: Hi Jim, the purpose of this meeting is to analyze the results you were hired to achieve as project manager of this key development our company is striving for.
Jim: I'm thankful to be here! Hey, Did you hear?
Jim: Did you hear about the rich rabbit?....He was a million-hare!
CEO: Please, we have limited time. Jim what are the results?
Jim: Well, funny you mention that. I would first like to point out a list of competitors who are struggling with the exact same project I am working on...and I really must say, we are doing quite well.
CEO: Jim, I asked for results, not diverting peripherals that detract from the essence of what I am paying you for. Again, what are the results?
Jim: uh...um, sure of course Mr. CEO. I have direct quotes from other business leaders who specifically told me that our team and I are doing a great job. We are making great progress! Although we blew the budget I promised to hold to, it's really kind of neat...we actually blew it for reasons beyond our control...the economy took a tumble so the productivity took a slide resulting in lower output and increased expenses.
CEO: You're kidding me. Are you telling me....
Jim: Sorry to interrupt...if I could make just one more point. If it were not for my management and our teams outstanding performance, we could have been way worse off. I mean...way! Our approach saved lots of money and we...
CEO: Silence Jim! Your telling me you blew the budget forecast and are shadowing that in a mix of bragging about variables irrelevant to the results I am paying you for?
Jim: Well, not really you see...
CEO: Yes, or No...?!?!
Jim: Yes with a really good reas,,,...
CEO: Jim, listen: you were hired to get results: productivity within the framework of a budget. You walked in here cracking jokes, bragging about how good you were and 'rescued' things from being worse...you cited other people who supported your efforts and you pointed to irrelevant factors all doing one simple thing: deferring from the obvious. You were paid to get results and you failed. Had you come in humility and put your cards on the table and said, "Mr. CEO, you gave me a mandate and I failed. Here's what I will do to restore trust..." I would have worked with you as you are a talented man. However, if you blow the result, and don't owe up to it but deflect, you become a detriment to my organization. Jim, thank you for your services, best of luck in the future. Your employment ends today.
By elevating his environment (chamber of commerce, standing behind a podium, addressing a crowd of laughing friendlies, packing his speech with fillers irrelevant to the results on hand) he comes off as what other say: liberal, no accountability and broken promises: aka arrogant.
Mr. Flaherty, you are a gifted man with lots of smarts. I implore you to take heed to the following:
1. Put yourself before a committee that asks tough questions. Give direct answers. Have them sit on higher ground (small platform??) so they appear to be the one you are serving (not vice versa). Answer directly and honestly.
2. Take responsibility and articulate how you will solve the problem. Keep it simple, clear and direct.
3. Take your bragging sideshow to another discussion. We all want to hear your opinion about the government's leadership...but not to soften the blow of missed results.
4. Send me a thank you card for this great advice.