I was once acquainted with a business mogul, who was appointment to direct a State Agency. He came from a research background, yet absent knowledge of working within state government.
You probably never have contemplated how difficult it is to manage a 1000 people in a governmental setting. It’s a lot like running a 1000 person business, multiplied by 2 or maybe 3 times the difficulty! You must not only manage your staff, efficiency, but you have legislators, the press and the public, believing that their ideas and suggestions should guide your business decisions.
One day this mogul gave this account of his days in state government, it went like this;
“The first day, I arrived at my appointed office, met some staff, and then sat down behind the desk from which I would direct this agency. As I looked about, I noticed a tablet of paper, centered atop the desk. On the top page was a hand written note from my predecessor, with the following instructions.
In the top right-hand desk drawer, you will find three envelopes, numbered in sequence, #1, #2, and #3. Open the first envelope, ONLY, when in the course of your operations, the situations and surroundings are SO volatile, that you can see no way out, follow the instructions. Do the same thing with the remaining envelopes as the situation calls for it.
After a short period of time, things were going extremely poorly, I couldn’t see which way to go, adversity surrounded me…so I reached in the drawer, pulled out the first envelope and read its contents—-BLAME THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION!. So, I did, and work improved.
Time advanced and then another catastrophe arose and criticism came falling from the sky like rain drops–expectantly I reached into the draw and pulled out envelop #2 and read its contents—REORGANIZE! So, I did, and work improved.
Later, I was really feeling good about my accomplishments, when a major screw-up came to light and all good was forgotten and the target of a major movement was me. I sweated and fretted out a couple of weeks, then reached in the drawer and pulled out the last envelope and read its contents—-PREPARE THREE ENVELOPES! So I did.