Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Trump Test

Subtitle: Bullying in 2017

This is not an article about Donald Trump.  It is an article about Bullying

Some Background
Marcus worked as a Consultant for many years and I've seen many different working environments.   In some of them there were bullies.

I really hate Bullies.

And more than once I've stood my ground, and made what I know would be a futile stand.  Because there are times in your life when you have to stand up and be counted. And why?

Because I really hate Bullies


- The Bully may be a person or a small clique that systematically and unfairly victimises one or more individuals

- The Bully will attempt to blame those individuals for outcomes that were not under their control, or will not be tolerant of any error the victims will make, whilst simultaneously ignoring their own errors or those of their friends

- The work environment becomes that of fear. 

- If you are being bullied then 'meek friends' fear association with you lest they become targets of bullying too.  Such friends realise correctly that whilst the bully targets you, unfairly of course, they are not a target.

- If in a position of authority the Bully may have the opportunity to 'fire' one or more employees.  If used without discrection or justification this is seen to be what it is: A  dominant, tribal tactic.  It says:  "Do exactly what I say,  don't even think about pissing me off, because if you do, you will be replaced"


- Innovation is stifled.  People keep their head down

- Environment fractures into the in crowd and out crowd

- It's a Negative Sum Gain.  This means that the total productivity is reduced.   

- If the Bully is sick or absent for the office you immediately notice the atmosphere change [for the better]

The English Language
The English Language is a powerful weapon.  In the hands of an eloquent bully it can be used to twist the facts and belittle the opponent.  

Alternatively (cf White House Press Briefings) it can be used to waffle on for hours, giving poor,  pathetic and untenable justifications for actions.  [The consequences are BTW that sane people just stand back in amazement asking: How stupid do you think we are?  This is bullshit ]

In my mind the current American Trump administration shows clear signs of Bullying 101, and this will lead to a climate of fear and consequent under-productivity in the American political and Business environment. 

A Practical Test

You work for a Bully.  He (or She) is unstable.   You are never sure what they are going to do or how they will react.  But you are confident they want to fire you.   You think if you make 3 mistakes in a row they will fire you.  So try it for yourself:

In Google: type:  flip a coin

How many flips is it before you are fired.

Now, an even more exciting game.   Play this game with one friend.  By handing your friend the game back and forth, after 3 or more flips, what's the maximum total number of 3+ flips either of you can manage before [either of you] getting 3 in a row and being fired?