Tag Archives: Accountability

Can you lie yourself out of a problem like the President Barak Obama?

These days it’s not a secret that the President Obama misled the American people on his signature legislation – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Either the President doesn’t understand the English meaning of “Period”, or he was intentionally misleading American people to get his way. For people who don’t know the background of this lie, this is what the President claimed on multiple occasion (it was not just a one-time slip of tongue) – “If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period”. Don’t jump your guns though. Executives who might be thinking that they have found a holy grail to solve all of their issues by lying, please consider it twice before taking your chances. Odds are…..lying won’t work well for you as it has worked for the President Obama. Following are few reasons behind it.

Accountability: Unlike the Government, public companies have to be accountable for each and every action they take. If Surface Tablet doesn’t perform well, Microsoft stock price will plummet in no time. But hardly anyone holds the government accountable for the healthcare site which is developed for millions of dollars, and still it doesn’t work. Since the government doesn’t have the profit motive, some of the government programs can’t be run efficiently by definition. On top of this, government doesn’t hold anyone accountable for their mistakes. If this kind of a fiasco would have happened in the private company, someone would have been fired. Period. As we have seen in this administration, people who lie are not just given a pass, but on few occasions they also get promoted. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior won’t work for you, if you own/run a private company.

Blame game: During the hearing of the Healthcare website, it was clear that every contractor was blaming the government for this lousy rollout. And the government was blaming the consumer demand. Really? Have you ever heard a big website like eBay or Amazon blaming their consumers for the malfunction of their website on the Black Friday? That would be a complete disaster, and no one will buy this lie. Unfortunately, since the government has so many departments, and it is so huge, people can play the blame game for a long time, and kick the can down the road. Also, the government of the United States is becoming bigger and complicated as the government expansion takes on. And due to this reason, people can easily be confused. In the real world though, a CEO of a company can’t play the blame game for a long time. Stockholders will be asking tough questions, since they are financially invested in your company.

Lying doesn’t matter: In today’s political world, people believe that almost all the political leader lie. And due to this reason and this reason only, we expect very little from our political appointees as compared to other people. Also, if the President of the United States lies to you, you can’t just fire him, he has 4 more years under his belt. On the contrary, if you find out that the CEO of Yahoo lied to you about his credentials, you can create an external environment of pressure through your stock holdings to fire him. If a company lied about its products and created a false marketing campaign, you can technically take that company to the court for false advertising, while you can’t take Obama to the court for lying. He can just get out of his past claims by just apologizing to its consumer.

So, next time when you are thinking of lying to get your way, think twice. Do you think this path of lying is sustainable for the government? Or are we living in a world where government employees are held up to a lower standards as compared to other folks?

Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi

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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in 21st Century, Leadership, Management


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Can you win your team’s trust by blaming the upper management?

Blaming managementAs a line-manager, it becomes really tempting to distance yourself from your own superiors. It seems an easy option to win the hearts of your employees by blaming aggressive deadlines, overtime, and new process changes to the upper management’s initiative. Isn’t it? Does this mean that you have discovered a gold mine to develop a trust relationship between you and your team?

It’s not quite that easy. If you want to create bonding with your employees then there are other avenues to do so instead of creating this bonding over being a victim of the upper management together. By blaming all the unfavoring decisions to your upper management, you are eventually damaging the confidence of your team. Some of the side effects may be…..

1. High turnover: Your team will feel that they can’t trust the organization anymore, and hence, they will start looking for their next career move.

2. Team stagnation: Due to the negative perception of the upper management, your team will think that their inputs are not valuable in the organization. Thus, they will stop providing their valuable inputs to you, and hence, they won’t be able to provide any value to the organization.

3. Loss of respect: Even though you started blaming the upper management for all the negative decisions to build the trust between you and your team, you won’t be able to help yourself from losing the respect of your team. Due to your negative publicity of the upper management, your own team members will think that you are weak and powerless in the organization. And hence, their respect for you will decrease over time.

Thus, when you think that the easiest escape from your team’s negativity is to blame the upper management, then think twice. Don’t ever use phrases like…..“I don’t know why we’re doing this”, “no one ever consults with me on these new initiatives”, “I disagree with this upper management’s decision as well” etc.

A true leader should have the courage to represent the upper management and their views. If you disagree with their decisions, then instead of blaming them in front of your team members, confront them, try to understand the reasons behind those decisions. And remember……by blaming your superiors, you are not going to build any relationships, you will only lose respect of your team.


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