Saturday, April 06, 2013

Turf Ignorance

Turf wars can generate many problems but probably far fewer than turf ignorance.

Take a department head who restricts his or her focus to a few familiar technical activities while neglecting less predictable "people issues" that are at least equally important. Short-term goals may be achieved but eventually a price will be paid, possibly a heavy one.

It may be more comfortable to confine one's attention to known territory but the world has a way of introducing uncomfortable topics; often at the most inconvenient times. Defining turf to exclude them doesn't make them go away.

This is similar to Abraham Lincoln's joke: "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

So it is with job responsibilities.

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