Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Limits of Success

Russ Linden believes that success is a lousy teacher:

Her corporate experience had taught her the value of being the first person to make a clear, strong proposal when working on a problem, so she simply announced her proposals at council meetings without first discussing them with her colleagues. That approach did not win her any support when it came time to vote. As an engineer, she had always studied a problem carefully, done her analysis, and then formulated a rational solution. But, on the council, she didn't take care to educate the public about what the problem was or why it needed to be addressed. Nor did she seek input from key stakeholders. Consequently, community groups that might otherwise have helped her — but felt left out of the process — often criticized her.

She fared no better with the media. Most council members would brief certain members of the press before making important announcements, to help the reporters understand their ideas and get good coverage of their speech. Mary was different; she believed that "good ideas speak for themselves."

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