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Leeches and leaders

In my many years on this planet, I’ve served many orgs & institutions.

I’ve learned there’s a certain type of person who has the talent of figuring out how to dine off an organization, while contributing the least amount of labor in return. People like me take a job description seriously – as in, to serve & build the org, to contribute to the constituents’ wellbeing. But the parasitical type of person looks at the org and sees not a flowerbed they can nurture, but a larger animal whose purpose is to be leeched off, sucked dry, & eventually discarded. They grow fat, accumulate laurels, & keep the powers-that-be happy.

The key qualifications they have are this: They are neither encumbered by excess competence or professionalism, or by inconvenient ethical principles.
They are free to follow the route of profit & power. They are trusted because they’re as self-serving as those already in power.

I’ve often been mystified by why orgs do not ‘work’ properly, why they are betrayed by their own members, why at key moments they seem to fall through. And now I have learned that this is the reason.

Victorian Era Children's Education Facts

They *do* work. Just not the way they *say* they will.

Why do I mention this? Not for self-congratulation, but for people raised in a certain ethic of integrity and principle, who believe in following rules and procedures.

FIND and READ THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM of your org. The org’s written rules are not the whole story.

Be true to yourselves. And figure out how to survive. If you weren’t raised in the Room Where it Happens, you’ll need to figure things out.

When your parents tell you to be truthful and honest, but also to watch your back, they speak from experience.

You know how some kids attend schools where they learn to lead, to question, to create? Others learn to memorize, obey, and conform?

Orgs present different faces to different people, different types of people. Figure out what face of the organization is presented to you. And why. Who is reading a different face of the organization and how.

1 thought on “Leeches and leaders”

  1. Dear Shabana, I check your blog after ages and it was so nice to see that it is still there and very much active!

    I felt like writing about this topic in particular, specially because I have been feeling depleted in my organisation. What you write makes a lot of sense and matches my personal experience. I also really like what you wrote in the last paragraph about the face of the organisation, etc. Have you written more about this somewhere else? Have you tried to do this sort of exercise in your own organisation. These are very interesting questions.

    One of the things that I have also wondered about is how some organisations seem to have a high concentration of these individuals. I feel like mine is one. But reading your last paragraph, I wonder how the face the organisation presents to different people might not also have something to do with it. But I am not sure how the two might be linked exactly…

    Do you think that there might also be a relationship between this and how much corruption there is in an organisation.

    Lots of food for thought.

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