Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Five Percenters" and Leaders

Our Congress contains a small number of great leaders, and a much larger number of "five percenters." A five percenter is someone who knows about five percent more than the average person on any given subject. They often have an inordinate amount of sway with average people, who see the extra five percent and assume the five percenter is a subject matter expert. But they're not.They hardly know more than their audience.

This can be overcome, so long as the five percenter understands that they are not an expert simply because they know a little more than the average guy. After all, no one can be an expert in everything. A good Congressman, or any leader for that matter, knows enough to get real experts to support them, delegates work appropriately, makes decisions based on the work and recommendations of their staff, then takes personal responsibility for their decisions.

Read this post from The Auto Prophet on the coming auto bailout:

The whole mass has been a fascinating, and depressing political show. I listened to a few hours of the hearings over the last few days, and [the] pompous arrogance of some of the members of Congress was infuriating. Even the sympathetic members, such as Chris Dodd (D-CT) offered ridiculous and unhelpful advice, such as suggesting with a straight face that maybe the Detroit 3 could retool their plants to build mass transit products such as busses and rail cars. "The truck and SUV plants you are closing... these have pretty long wheel bases, don't they?" said Dodd, who apparently acquired a manufacturing engineering degree somewhere, secretly.

Then came the spectacle of Maxine Waters (D-CA) complaining that dealers, specifically small dealers, specifically, minority dealers, were being hurt by all the cuts, and inquiring what the Detroit 3 were planning to do to protect the dealers. This at a time when many commentators, and many other members of Congress correctly realize that having too many dealers their hurts profitability, and reduces the efficiency of the service and distribution divisions.
Time and again I am reminded that some of our Congressional representatives are not good leaders; in fact, many are not even five percenters. That would be giving them too much credit, as their public statements often demonstrate that they do not know even as much as an average citizen.

And even fewer take responsibility for the consequences of their decisions.

1 comment:

mccommas said...

They know 5 percent more than the average Joe?

That has not been my observation.