David Petraeus

So the barbs are flying around wondering how General David Petraeus, the “spy-in-chief,” was unable to successfully keep his affair a secret.

First of all, he’s not an actual field-level spy. And besides, he’s been management a really long time. I’ve never met a manager who can really still do the work we do in the streets. And it shows – who orders ambulances without cup holders? Who tells crews that they are not to deviate one block from post? Who is stupid enough to promise employees that will never get a late call?

2 thoughts on “David Petraeus”

  1. Interesting dilemma. I see a lot of senior EMS folks who can, and still do, what medics do every day. Many had 20+ years in the streets before they promoted “inside,” and (although many believe its true) newly promoted managers do not walk through a magnet and erase all that experience from their brains.

    But others have told me the problem is the reverse – all the time I hear “We promote our best clinicians and expect them to be good supervisors and managers, but it doesn’t seem to work!” Not that they don’t have enough field experience, but that they have too much of that and not enough else.

    Could we have a systematic problem where we fail to develop individuals from the beginning to move progressively in to increasing leadership roles? I surely think that’s true.

    Could we have toxic work environments, where former peers are so hostile that newly promoted managers take on a bunker mentality (to avoid all the negativity), and thus fail to involve people who might notice that the coffee cup holder was omitted from the ambulance specification? Or do they get tired of the back-splash when the employee committee recommends a change in the layout of the ambulance box, and another group of employees hates it? And when the members of that committee conveniently forget that it was their recommendation?

    Being in the middle is not an easy place to be!

    1. the ones who have lots of field experience, who are truly medics’ medics never seem to last in the office because they seem to despise the other managers, the ones who aren’t medics’ medics.

      the ones who don’t have any credibility, well, we know how much crews actually listen to them.

      i think too much has been made of leadership training and the need for it. if you’re a decent person with common sense and credibility, the leap to leadership isn’t enormous. the reason there are workshops after workshops after courses after courses on leadership is because people who don’t deserve to be promoted routinely get promoted while better people are wise enough not to even get involved. and it shows.

      whatever the case may be, the dilbert principle holds sway.

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