Thursday, March 19, 2009

Geithner and Gladstone

This post by John Phillips on the woes of the Secretary of the Treasury was before the most recent stories on the AIG bonuses.

I doubt if Secretary Geithner is going to be retained. He fails to inspire confidence. That is an essential quality in the Treasury post, especially in this economy.

Gladstone said a leader must be a good butcher. Leaders who hang on to staff members long after the person has become ineffective do themselves and their organizations little good. [While the President is at it, he should also consider replacing his press secretary, who is becoming a daily embarrassment.]

I recall one historian's account of how Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who sacked generals without hesitation, was otherwise inclined to delay taking similar action with cabinet members. Clement Attlee, on the other hand, would call in the head of a ministry and say - and I'm relying on memory here - "You're not up to the job."

It sounds brutal, but many an organization would benefit if more of its leaders followed Attlee's approach.


pawnking said...

I think Lincoln was famous for holding on to his generals too long. Was he the exception which proved the rule?

Deron S. said...

I'm with you on the press secretary issue. What was Obama thinking?

Geithner should not be the face of the Treasury. He would be very helpful in a "behind the scenes" role that utilizes his technical knowledge and hides his poor communication skills.