If all else fails, another popular task – avoiding strategy is to” pass the puck” : have someone else perform a task that you should be doing.
For example , if you are a business owner and afraid of networking, you might send your assistant to network, even though you should be the one to represent your company.
Or if you are a CEO who is fearful of public speaking , you might have someone else deliver a motivational speech , even if it would be more appropriate if the speech came from you. Buck passing is especially pervasive around delivering bad news, which people are commonly fearful of delivering.
In one particularly striking case of passing the buck, an employee at a New Jersey chemical company sabotaged the company’s computer system to the tune of twenty million dollars in damage , precisely because of this issue of buck passing, which is evident in a note he wrote to the president of the company:
I have been loyal to the company in good and bad times for over thirty years. I was expecting a remember of top management to come down from his ivory tower to face us with the layoff announcement rather than sending the kitchen supervisor with guards to escort us off the premises like criminals. You will be for your senseless behaviour.
Another case of buck passing comes from a survey conducted by consulting company Development Dimensions International (DDI) and the Economist Intelligence Unit of 420 worldwide executives that found six out of ten leaders were worried that their organisations weren’t developing talented employees quickly enough to complete …but at the same time , these leaders seemingly weren’t willing to get their hands dirty and be significantly involved in the development process itself .
Only 20 percent of the executives admitted to actually spending time helping to develop talent , and the only 10 percent had received the issue with their boards.
As Matt Paese , one of the survey project leaders , noted: ” It ‘s astounding given the fact that they recognize the business impact of having the right people – yet they’re out-sourcing accountability for it.’‘
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