Meet John Doe. He has been an employee of XYZ Company for many years and is in your office for his yearly performance review.
His results over the course of his tenure at the company have been spotty at best and you, as his new manager, have to make the decision of whether to keep him on or give him his walking papers.
This is what you read in his file:
- Never finishes a task;
- Makes decisions based more about concern with his own job than the future of the company;
- Is not a good teammate but even worse is more than willing to sabotage the performance of other employees;
- Is a finger-pointer who takes no responsibility for failure, total credit for successes and who may embellish or manipulate results to make poor outcomes seem to be much better than they are;
- Selects vendors or approves projects who serve his own purposes more than the betterment of the company's bottom-line;
- Promotes cronies from within and hires cronies from outside the company to positions that define the theory behind the Peter Principle. This is the idea that says that an employee will ultimately reach their highest "level of incompetence" and then stop advancing;
- Spends too little time actually working and an exorbitant amount of time preparing his resume for the next job;
- Due to acts of incompetence actually hurts the company both through damaged image and through a loss of personnel;
- When faced with a task critical to the long-term viability of the company will put personal needs first and the company second; and
- Will put short-term performance of the department or company as his main priority in order to please the shareholders in the near-term with little or no thought to what these actions might do to the company long-term. This is apparently due to the assumption of John Doe that when the s--t hits the fan he will no longer be an employee of XYZ and it will be someone else's problem!
Your management decision? Mr. John Doe, YOUR FIRED!
But wait a second! Not so fast!
Reread the bolded headline which says that due to the incompetence of the shareholders of XYZ Company who had voted by proxy to give this man an iron-clad 4-year contract, he cannot be fired!
Perhaps when the vote occurs the next time, the shareholders will do a better job!
Not a hypothetical but real life!
Well my friends these are the people who represent us in Washington. The people you voted to put there.
These are the people who, going through numbers 1-10 above, exhibit varying degrees of each one.
Not all of the people certainly, but enough who have created a cancerous environment that has metastasized throughout the entirety of the Congressional and White House complexes.
And it is we the people, the actual shareholders of this "company", who are going to pay the price in the end.
They say that consumers get what they pay for but at the same time they also say caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware.
They, whoever they are, will also sometimes say that you can fool all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.
In this case of real life, however, they are wrong!
First it is the politician running for office who gets what they pay for and not the voter.
Secondly, there was either not enough buyers remorse after the first four years of this crop of leaders or such a lack of interest taken by the American voter in the process that we are now going to do it all over again.
But this time with even higher stakes both domestically and in the foreign policy arena than we faced the first time around.
The bottom-line? Elections have consequences and as a nation, we are now paying the price!