Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Close your ears to challenges

“John Spivey (letter Apr 8) suggests that in today's public service bureaucracy, managers are chosen for their ability to filter out bad news. As chairman of a medical Royal College committee a few years ago, it was on occasion my job to meet officials from the Dept of Health to discuss the latest political gimmick. On attempting to acquaint them with the realities of medical life, I was often told, 'I can’t tell my minister that - he wouldn’t want to hear it'.” (Letter to The Times 9th April 2009)

Once you have gambled, once you have proposed an idea, prematurely, with a view to increasing your personal visibility or some other priority - close your ears to contrary ideas. Do not test your proposal is robust before going too far with it. That would merely increase the chance that your wisdom will be questioned.

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