(feel free to scroll down to Part II to skip looking into my mirror, or to Part III for more excerpts from the book)
On March 30, 2018, around 3 pm I was waiting for a meeting in a room I have never been before. I was looking around and a yellow book laying on a book shelf caught my eye.
Or check, for example, data from my latest professional evaluation:
Obviously, I am good at what I do. But, evidently, some people find me difficult to talk to.
BTW: a year before I had a slightly different set of ratings:
People think their evaluation describes my communication skills. I think, that just the sheer amount of the published work, and the quality of my teaching practice is already a good indicator of the high level of my communication skills. In reality, whoever gives me a low communication grade only indicates his/her inability to communicate on a professional level. They reduced "communication" to "I want this". A simple questions like "Why?", "Are you sure?" scares them off. When they face that what they want to do contradicts what they say they want to achieve they stop communicating and start avoiding ("Intellectual stagnation, social conformism, and the crisis of logical communication"; or "Being polite v. Being nice").
Lee Smolin’s book explained very clearly why all my attempts to be hired or promoted went into nothing, despite the clear evidence of the high level of my professional skills and broad and successful professional experience (here is an example of my professional communication, including a job interview).
Lee Smolin’s description of the things in science also explains why in many spheres (except financial area – so far?) American professionals have been gradually falling behind their foreign competitors; if it wasn't for foreign-born professionals still attracted to America, this decline would have become much more visible and dangerous (http://www.cognisity.how/2017/02/borders.html; or http://www.cognisity.how/2017/02/immigration.html).
When a patient has cancer - a tough but a treatable case, needs a surgical invasion, a chemo, but instead a "doctor" gives a shot of morphine - the patient feels better for a while. But then he/she needs another shot, and another, then morphine stops helping, the patient needs new dosage, then something stronger. That is not a treatment. That is a slow (but euphoric?) death. Trump's administration gave the economy a shot of morphine, and it feels good - for now. But there is no politician, or a political force, who would offer an actual long-term treatment (requires restructuring social-economic ties, reforming the way public education is being reformed). It was not Obama, it is not Trump, not the Republicans, not the Democrats - no one - not even radicals like Bernie Sanders - who offered the path to a sustainable economic restructuring.
For thirty years 99 % of all politicians, all appointed and elected government officials governed the Country using only one rule -
good (bad) for the Country.
Thirty years is nothing for the History. The pendulum will eventually swing back. But from historical point of view "eventually" usually means "another thirty years".
For individuals, their achievements are the result of a stroke of a good luck, or, of the quality of the decision-making process, which, in turn, is based on the level of brain development. Lungs, a hart, a kidney, and other organs are crucial for the existence of a body. But a brain is the organ responsible for the social propulsion of an individual.
One of the reasons for a decline in the average management skills of a large number of managers is the negative trends in education.
The educational policies of the last two-three decades have been essentially anti-management. Public education has been deliberately run into the ground. The actual goal of the “No Child Left Behind” law (and following accepted and proposed legislations, inclined the idea of a merit pay: “How Is The Third Program of the USSR Communist Party Related to Education Reform in the USA?” ; or “Education reform needs a new paradigm.” ) was to install a strict control over teachers, over their practice, drive any initiative to the minimum, make teachers “walk” like sheeps down the road paved by the political establishment.
Private education has been converted into a “drill machine”, no room for thinking, reasoning, overcoming intellectual challenges.
The results of those policies are:
1. A severe shortage of teachers who could actually teach.
2. A severe shortage of high quality workforce
3. A severe shortage of managers who could actually manage.
During the last thirty years it has become fashionable and very popular to talk about the importance of “critical thinking”; “critical thinking” has become a buzzword.
Next time when reading or listening to another proponent of “critical thinking, think about this:
How do you call a person who praises critical thinking but cannot take any critique?
How do you call someone who advocates for critical thinking but cannot think of any new idea?
Unfortunately, the field of education is filled with too many hypocrites and imposters.
How do you call a manager who cannot manage?
because he/she uses all the energy to pretend to lead the organization, when in fact all he/she does is seeking the approval from the superiors (to be allowed to keep the position).
When growing up and when climbing a career ladder, the current generation of managers (in the large numbers) has not had to overcome strong personal or professional challenges; the path up the ladder was nice and smooth. The number one quality for becoming a manager was an ability to avoid any potential tensions (hence, any potential “tension-generators”), and the number two was the ability to represent a shiny image of the organization (“Ignoring sloppiness: a sign of tolerance or mismanagement?”; “A Convenient Lie” or “What Research University Faculty Tell Themselves About Their Teaching”).
There are only two types of officials/administrators:
What happens next?
The answer to this question demands the analysis of many possible scenaria, and requires a completely different format.
The same idea works for testing managers.
A top manager needs to push once in a while his or her lower managers through a stress test to see who's who (starting from simple observation how people react to a challenge).
However, such a test requires the work of professionals highly trained in the practice of PPA (Professional Position Analysis, training/consulting practice based on the General Theory of Human Activity): www.GoMars.xyz
and some comments to it provide specific examples of a mismanagement (mis - management, poor management, non-management, wrong management).
But I find the reaction of many hiring committees telling, or reviling. The tale about "team of rivals" is just a tale.
Thank you for visiting,
A copy of a note from the main page.
I am not an idiot or a reckless person. The reason I can allow myself writing what I think, even if that is perpendicular to commonly adopted and conventional views, is that my financial situation is sufficient and stable. Of course, as a normal person, I wouldn't mind making more money, or being involved in more interesting projects (as described in my generic resume). But I do not have to pretend to be someone I'm not to make my living.