On Thursday, my wife and I were walking downtown and, mixed in with advertisements, I saw this graffiti on the barrier walling off an empty lot. The first thing I thought of when I saw the images were the animal paintings in the cave at Lascaux, France. Those are some of the oldest cave art images in the world. I remember reading about them in an Art History course I took a few years ago. But, when I saw the humanoid figures, I was more reminded of the style of North American Petroglyphs, which I’d seen in… ::cough, cough:: … Ancient Alien History channel specials, with that white guy with the crazy, curly looking hair:
Anyway, I like most of the graffiti I see anyway, but I especially appreciated the attempt of the person who did this to present something historical. I wonder if aliens painted this graffiti, in an attempt to remind us of the eternal truths of the petroglyphs in the southwest United States?
This graffiti is located on Varick Street, between Watts Street and Broome Street:
There was a car that was always parked near our place in Singapore that had a really cool paint job on it, consisting of the Japanese rising sun symbol and a samurai. It’s possible that the owner of the car is Japanese. I never met him. It’s probably more likely that the person is just interested in Japanese culture and history.
The paint job was very well done and I liked the style, so I went ahead and took a photo of it.
When I went through leadership training two of the basic principles we were taught is that you should never ask your subordinate to do something you weren’t willing to do yourself, and you should lead by example.
So, here’s an example of a failure of both of those sound leadership principles.
You ask your employees to work extra hours, without pay, to meet unrealistic goals. You do this regularly, and your employees, having no choice but to comply for fear of losing their jobs, do it. Rather than staying behind as well, to ensure that your personnel are getting the job done, and to show that you too are sacrificing for the good of the company, you leave on time every day. As you go out the door on time every day your subordinates are still slaving away at their stations, becoming more and more filled with resentment at their mistreatment.
The result is that you create a hostile work environment, where the employees resent their jobs and resent you for asking them to stay behind when you’re not willing to do it yourself. These are major failures in leadership, as you undermine your own authority and cause your employees to stop caring about their work. Employees will start performing to the minimum, rather than trying to excel, because they have no desire to impress you, as they don’t like you to start with. Eventually that dislike spreads to dislike for the job and the company as a whole, and employees start biding their time until another opportunity comes along, rather than making plans to invest in their careers with the company.
There are right ways to lead and manage people and they’ve been identified as the right ways to do things because they work. I wonder at how some people attain managerial positions and yet these basic tenets of management and leadership seem beyond their grasp.