By U AC
The following thirteen deficiencies were originally pointed out by a foreigner, who had worked in Myanmar for many years. The writer himself agreed with all of them based on his own personal and past experiences. Obviously, the followings are generalizations referring to the normal state of affairs, rather than the totality (the whole population) of the private and public sector managers.
1. Doing things together for better effectiveness does not exist in Myanmar managers’ vocabulary. They want their own doing. No discussion, no negotiation, no communication with peers, or other departments.
2. Sharing and caring are deficient. There is always a lot of jealousy, both hidden and explicit. Even if he cannot do half of the other person’s work done, let’s criticize first, just in order to diminish the other’s impressive accomplishments.
3. Attack other people’s weakness(es), just to preserve one’s position or get own’s position. Instead of improving themselves, most of them tend to specialize in disparaging others, trying to attack, and looking to show off their own’s good-for-nothing achievements.
4. Ego and knowledge mismatch. Never accept he still needs to improve or is lacking knowledge. That acknowledgement would be akin to downgrading oneself or the position that you are undeservedly holding.
5. Extremely poor teamwork. Just want to boast I am Chairman of this, General Secretary of that, etc., and want to be the centre of attention and individual hero, regardless of how untalented he might be.
6. Little responsibility or accountability or delegation. Any screwup is not his fault, but others.
7. Indecisive and delayed responses and do not consider the urgency of things to take immediate action. Never accept that it was his mistake or never take responsibility and always look for scapegoats, trying to avoid addressing the situation head-on.
8. No customer orientation. Do not accept a sense of duty or service towards the customer or the country and try to be overbearing and tyrannical.
9. No foresight. Cannot differentiate between long and short-term plans. Not trying hard to have that ability either.
10. Biases and favouritism. Prevalence of subjective judgements and gossip, while trying to create their own little turfs and promoting incompetent and corrupt subordinates.
11. No personal sacrifice for the department, organization or country to be successful. Just want to sit back, relax, enjoy the position, spend the budget, and get the benefits, without putting in much effort.
12. Instead of being a leader, just want to be an authorized, appointed person. Instead of developing standards for better performance and criteria for selection and decision-making, just focus on how to order and command people based on assumed or real authority.
13. Prioritizing internal politics and gossip, over-focusing on results.
Sad but true, yet a detriment to our country. As Jim Collins said, “The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline - a problem that largely goes away if you have the right people in the first place”. The solution or part of the solution would be to ensure that competent, brave and qualified people are placed in leadership positions in the first place, by our entrusted leaders.