Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Authoritative Wisdom

  • Have you ever been in a meeting, where your boss suggested something stupid and all attendees took turns in praising the suggestion and thanking God for the wisdom of the boss?
  • Have you ever wondered why people adapt the boss’s rationale to all issues and render all other plausible explanations as abhorrently ridiculous?
  • Have you ever wondered why the boss is always right?
Well, the boss believes everything he says or does is wise. This illusion stems out from the fact that subordinates rarely show dissent. Possible reasons are:
  1. They see the boss as a powerful authority figure. Disagreeing with him might jeopardize their career path or might put them in immediate trouble.
  2. They actually agree with the boss, because, (they assume) he must have studied his decision carefully and evaluated all options before coming to any conclusion.
  3. It was a committee’s recommendation!!

The above is a classical example of “Authoritative Wisdom”. I am not sure if it is a term or not. I’ve seen one reference to something similar in an old book. Anyway, a friend of mine coined it and it is now the property of “Wesam’s Holdings”. Look at your company and think of how many bad decisions were made today and were solely caused by AW. Employees in Saudi Companies rarely express differing opinions and succumb to agreeing with the boss. They move wherever the wind blows; a classical example of “windsock employee”.
On the same token, bosses often prefer to use teams and committees to support their “wise” decisions. The intent is for everyone to see the committee’s recommendations as an unbiased third party opinion and give the required legal form to the whole change. However, everybody and his cousin know that these teams and committees were already notified of the “desired” recommendations.
It’s something inherent in our culture, not religion. There is nothing wrong with expressing your point of view as long as you do it in a respectful manner. Start using the term and spread the word.


Cube-Man said...

Excellent ! I am posting this article on my blog. Thank you so much for sharing my friend :)

Rahman said...

Thanks for your kind comments.

Rationality said...

So true…
"Authoritative Wisdom" is founded only in backward nations. Our problem is the third world countries bosses and presidents …ect do not accept any type of criticizing even if it is constructive. People who have the dominant unfortunately removed out constructive criticizing out of their list. Hence they add any objector to their black list which means the objector deprivation from his life rights. That is the main reason of our backwardness, people called us The Third World Countries and no one cares, Our policies made of dictatorships, any kind of demonstration is rejected plus the demonstrator cruelly berated and be hard on as a criminal. So before we blame the people we have nothing to do except living peacefully we have to start from the core of this disease.

Thanks a lot for sharing us this great topic and great thoughts it’s really brilliant.
Kind regards.