Work sabotage

Work sabotage
Take a careful look at this and see if this reminds you of a leader or a colleague you currently work with in your workplace.
STAR / File

Take a careful look at this and see if this reminds you of a leader or a colleague you currently work with in your workplace. For easy read and understanding, the contents have been categorized for your appreciation.

How to be the worst possible leader

• Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken to expedite decisions.

• Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your “points” by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.

• When possible, refer all matters to committees for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committee as large as possible — never less than five.

• Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

• Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

• Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.

• Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste, which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.

How to be a terrible manager

• In making work assignments, always sign out the unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers.

• Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products; send back for refinishing those which have the least flaw.

• To lower morale and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions.

• Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

• Multiply the procedures and clearances involved in issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve everything where one would do.

How to be a bad employee

• Work slowly.

• Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can.

• Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.

• Never pass on your skill and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

 And now I have a couple of questions I would like to ask you:

1. Have you ever had experiences with bad leaders, bad manager and bad employees?

2. Do these types of people still exist in the workplace, especially in yours?

3. Have you just encountered people doing dumb things like these just this week?

4. Have you ever been frustrated because some important work did not happen because of such inefficiencies?

5. Have you involved in such activities yourself?

You may be wondering where I am going with this. But as I read through the list, I was blown away! Never knew there could be something as sinister as this. Simple sabotage; this is what it is. Leaders, managers, and employees can destroy businesses and organizations by doing the described activities mentioned. Now here is the punchline. Do you know that the things mentioned were all part of a carefully and intentionally designed field manual that provided direction and instruction on how to achieve “Bad?”

Now who on earth you may be wondering would be so stupid enough to write these? Actually, it is not stupid. It was intelligent and insidious.

In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which is the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was headed by William J. Donovan. He was looking for ways to undermine and destabilize enemy states, particularly those that figure prominently in the war. To that end, he commissioned a new field manual to be developed by the agency. The agency distributed a secret pamphlet that was intended as a guidebook to citizens living in Axis nations who were sympathetic to the Allies.

The “Simple Sabotage Field Manual,” declassified in 2008 and available on the CIA's website, provided instructions for how everyday people could help the Allies weaken their Axis-run country by reducing production in factories, offices, and transportation lines.

“Some of the instructions seem outdated; others remain surprisingly relevant,” reads the current introduction on the CIA’s site. “Together, they are a reminder of how easily productivity and order can be undermined.”

Isn’t it amazing that activities like these still happen in our workplace today? These are devices that offer effective activities on how to run your organization into the ground from your chief executives to the factory floor.

If this list reminds you of your boss, colleagues, or even yourself, then wouldn’t you think that we need to make some adjustments and be courageous enough to undertake initiatives to prevent “Sabotage” from happening in our business? Do not allow modern work to become indistinguishable from sabotage. And this is why, leadership matters.

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