Posted by lex, on February 13, 2008
I’ve had two kinds of folks I’ve worked for over the years: Bosses and leaders. The ones I worked for were bosses, and the ones I’d die for, leaders.
Bosses were in charge. They got to say. Didn’t matter if we had a personality conflict, or if I thought we were heading the wrong direction. I got my orders, offered an opinion if one was asked for (and sometimes when it wasn’t) and – if I couldn’t change his mind, and so long as the orders were legal – the job got done. The only real trick to digging a deeper hole under obligation is to appear enthusiastic while doing so.
But we don’t require people to sing while they work. And just like anywhere else, there will be people whom you don’t personally respect in positions which nevertheless command your duty. There were relatively few jerks all things considered, and the ones there were stood out. I took solace from the knowledge that karma is karma, and that the wheel never stops turning.
But I had a string of great leaders, too. Guys I’d go to the mattresses for. Guys I’d stand in front of when stuff began to fly. Leaders, not bosses. People I’d have died for.
You could always tell the difference between the two, because no one is perfect no matter how hard we try to be. Everyone screws up eventually. The good folks had friends willing to help them out when they had made a mess. Willing to offer them a hand up when they were down, or a hand out when they were in it. Willing to stop them from fouling their anchor if possible, or step up and vouch for them when the vouching time came and everything trembled in the balance.
But the guys who had gotten used to winning through vaulting personal ambition, intimidation, brow-beating, threats or back-stabbing – and everyone knew who they were – didn’t see a lot of outstretched hands when they found themselves on the wrong side of the line and needed support. Instead, they tend to see a lot of pursed lips and crossed arms.
Shame about Joe, but didn’t he have it coming? He did.
I wonder if that’s how it feels right now in the Clinton camp:
For years, Bill and Hillary Clinton treated the Democratic National Committee and party activists as extensions of their White House ambitions, pawns in a game of success and survival. She may pay a high price for their selfishness soon.
Top Democrats, including some inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign, say many party leaders – the so-called superdelegates – won’t hesitate to ditch the former New York senator for Barack Obama if her political problems persist. Their loyalty to the first couple is built on shaky ground.
Obama is on a roll, and her back is up against the wall. It isn’t over yet of course, and if she pulls off the nomination and the election, heads will roll – The Machine is famously unforgiving. But when she reaches out these days it’s looking more and more like pursed lips and crossed arms.