Legaspi: Eulogy for an organization

Questions that matter

AS I was looking at the titles of my books at our small library at home, I came across a set of old mimeographed notes about management, probably it belonged to my late brother Bill. The title of the notes/article is “Eulogy for an organization”.

I was amazed at the title that I forgot what I was looking for and I began to read the whole five-paged academic work. The article outlined a story of how a successful organization died and what are the causes of its death.

Towards the end, around two or three paragraphs, it asked the question, will you do the same mistake for your organization or will you evade these things?

It was a nice article to pass my time. But as I got deeper into the literature, I somehow agreed with the author. It seems that this was one of those few books or articles that I had no great opposition with. In my college years, my professor in Epistemology taught us to be always critical of the situation. We have to verify the truth presented to us and we need to debate with the principalities, if necessary.

Allow me to share what the unknown author wrote. He enumerated a few but real reasons and causes that could kill an organization. We often blame the offers or “the elite running the show”, as he calls them, and we are correct. The main cause of the destruction is not the members but the officers whose vested interests are above the interest of the organization. He asked why do these leaders want to stay in power? The author simply answered because it is ego-tripping and personal. Others would cover themselves with the glitters of serving the community but are too fearsome of giving-up.

Good if the organization is still breathing, but when the respirator is turned-off these leaders will begin to point fingers at one another. In the eyes of the crowd, they are still leaders but deep inside them, they could not sleep. I remembered one management magnate who told me that you are still good if you could close your eyes and sleep well at night but once you develop insomnia, it is a sign that you are not doing well or you are selfish.

The second cause of death is when the organization is run by people who were placed in the boardroom by accident. It is just in the movies that accidental leaders become successful. A leader by accident will always commit accidents. A leader who has no training will never learn while in the position. He will cloak himself with the authority attached to the position.

This is the reason why most organizations have long meetings. The leader cannot immediately decide for he has no foundation or solid ground for decision. Decisions for a learned and trained leader will always be swift and sound. Decisions made by accidental leaders will always be slow and uncertain. Consultations are good if you have good consultants but once you also have “unlearned” consultants, then you are killing softly the organization.

The third cause is when the organization has leaders who are hiding something (mistake). These are the leaders who are “show-off”. These are leaders who are so “holy” externally but deeply unholy. They talk of God and Divine teachings but most often they do not even know how to pray well the “Lord’s Prayer”. These are leaders who are keeping something within. These leaders could not spread their wings well for fear that one day, their “caviar” might be uncovered. These are leaders who are very good at hiding or camouflaging themselves in the goodness of others. They are like chameleons that would suddenly make the good ones, their prey.

So, shall we continue to allow ourselves to have mediocrity in the leadership of our respective organizations? If we want to kill our organization, then leave it to these leaders but if we want to let the organization live, then we need a revolution from within and kick out the leaders that are rotten inside the basket. This was the ending of the unknown author of that manuscript.

A blessed advent.

St. Ezekiel Moreno, pray for us.*


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