Thursday, March 19, 2009

A tale of mismanagement in the Private and Public sector

Is it a small wonder that as described in the caliber of people applying for top posts as commented on my previous blog entry, that our country is suffering from a serious shortage of talent in high places? It is a significant factor in the abysmal state of the country since independence when we were left with a bulging treasury and politicians eager to squander it.

As in every sphere, Sri Lanka has its fair share of talent at the upper echelons of public and private life, but they are few and far between, with many aspiring leader been left to pasture due to the lack of vision of the superior to spot talent and show them the fast track. I explain this by our need for constant praise and not wanting to be upstaged by better subordinates. Good subordinates therefore blocked by the glass ceiling, do one of two things. They leave and invariably go overseas where they believe their talent is better recognized or they use their brains to praise their boss and at the same time defraud the company thereby affecting the livelihoods of many with who they are playing this game of poker.
The need of the hour is to identify skills and moral standing as well as patriotism to the country and faith in their employer. These people are natural leaders in whatever they do and are the asset we so desperately need. We first need the people with stature to identify these people in management and without favor or fervor promote them to positions where they can truly make a difference.

Initial hiring should be task oriented and only achievement of the objectives can ensure continuation, and not age or number of years in a position that determine promotion at present. I know many organizations have instituted changes to go in this direction, but the results are still very scrappy due to some of the weaknesses of the leaders that lack the courage to put caliber above petty old school ties.

The first step is for we ourselves to accept humbly what our weaknesses are and then try and repair them. Only then will we be able to identify and spot talent and give them the reigns but at the same time know how to control them and monitor them to ensure that the overall objectives of the enterprise are met, and no malfeasance takes place. Stakeholders will be shocked that under the noses of the leadership or managing directors, how much fraud takes place because of the wrong people in positions of trust.

So concludes my hundreth blog post here!

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