Tuesday, September 03, 2013

THE BAD NEWS: HACKEMACK IS NO HACK



Yesterday, I wrote about how great it is for the City that it has the services of this talented woman.  Today, I go over the reasons why retaining someone of her estimable talents will be problematic.

The Obvious-- Clearly, Glenda is a talented and dynamic administrator. As such, she is in demand. If she receives an attractive job offer into a stable situation, she must consider it. This is especially so since there is always the risk that the guy who hired her is a one termer;
The Mix, Part One-- as discussed yesterday, Glenda’s management style can be summed up as “responsible delegation.” As an alderman, Kyle’s management style can best be described as meddlesome.  If one assumes that Glenda adopted her management style because it is the way she wanted to be treated, there could be a problem in the offing. If Kyle’s management style remains meddlesome and Glenda feels she can best thrive in a delegative environment, the relationship could experience stresses;
The Mix, Part Two This one is simpler.  Glenda is bright, facile, and a proven problem solver. Kyle is,… Well… Kyle. Let’s just say it is not an egalitarian relationship. There is a certain level of stress and dissatisfaction built into working for someone less intelligent. There comes a day when the trade-offs no longer compensate for that dissatisfaction. Whether that day arrives for Glenda in the first four years is anybody’s guess but it should not be overlooked as a possibility;
Oversupervising-- Glenda is accustomed to reporting to a Board of Directors once a month or so and handling the day-to-day operation of an organization herself. Kyle, as an alderman sought information on constant and detailed basis about the internal operations of various departments. It remains to be seen whether he will maintain that same thirst for day-to-day data as mayor. This could take one of three forms: he could learn to delegate to his DAS; or, he could simply require more or less real-time information about her decisions; or, worse, he could require his approval before she took any action. Either of the last two possibilities would be contrary to her experience and would, over time where on her;
15 yards and loss of down, excessive preening-- it is fair to describe Glenda’s career to date as “just doing the work without regard to who gets the credit.”  Political officeholders, generally, are, to paraphrase Adlai Stevenson Junior, generally “unburdened by humility.” This administration raises vanity to an art form. The role model for this leadership team is that noted Peacock, Aaron Schock. While that is probably amusing for Glenda in the short run, it has to wear on one to be exposed to it a full-time basis. Standing alone, this is probably not a dealbreaker for her but it’s a quality-of-life issue and would enter into any calculation related to a new job offer;
Role Definition-- if you ask the people who have been promised jobs by this administration whether it was good at defining roles, he would get a negative answer. You really need look no further than the senior third Ward alderman. Does anybody really believe that there was an honest intent to place him in the job he thought he would inherit? While I have no way of knowing, I assume that Glenda made every effort to tightly negotiate her role before accepting the job. The very breadth of the job makes it impossible to do that on the front end. If the Mayor’s expectations for her become either to limited or two broad and murky, that will call her job satisfaction into question;
The ever popular Scapegoating-- let’s just face it, working for a politician holding executive  elective office is different in kind from any other kind work. If some project downsides or something part of the city underperforms or the response to an emergent situation is deemed insufficient (“you’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie!”) The one to walk the plank is not the elected official but the appointive one. Actually, Quincy has an interesting history of mayors taking hits to protect their director of administrative service. It is difficult to close one’s eyes and imagine Kyle Moore doing that;
Labor Negotiations-- there comes a point in every labor negotiation that a decision about a compromise that will settle all of the outstanding disputed points is needed and can’t come from a mere department head. It seems like this time always arises at night and the DAS is required to make a decision, off hours and within a relatively urgent timeframe. Once this occurs, the Mayor has to decide whether to support his DAS or embarrass her. This decision point will arrive next year. It will happen, up or down. Glenda is marketable enough that she does not have to sit still for having her operational legs cut out from underneath her.
As a matter of history, after about 2 ½ or three years, our deputy mayors have not been particularly fired up about continued service. If they were not glad to leave, they were at least relieved not to have to keep all these balls in the air at once, without a lot of appreciation. With Glenda, I would bet it’s 60 – 40 that she leaves before the end of Kyle’s four-year term. In the end, it might be a compendium of all the things above or it might simply be the frustration of working for someone who is so obviously not your equal. However that plays out, one can only hope that Kyle can step out of character enough to show appreciation for the supremely skilled leader he is hired. That that is 80 – 20, against.

3 Comments:

At 3:11 PM, October 28, 2013, Anonymous Mike Connell said...

Obviously not your equal? What supreme prison makes that judgement? If she is as good as you say, she should easily be able to manage upward. Or, is it her party affiliation that makes her so intelligent?

 
At 9:17 PM, January 01, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when are you going to bloviate about the impending garbage crisis? Likewise, the waste water treatment debacle. Both of these items date back to a 'D' administration, except no one was concerned enough to address the shortfalls, both now and going forward.

It's apparent you're green with envy that Kyle beat your guy, yet you aren't bitching about his handling of huge upcoming waste water treatment expenditures, garbage collection, Newcombe saga. It was during your guy's administration that the insurance coverage was allowed to lapse. Neither Kyle nor anyone else in the current administration has castrated Spring for the insurance oversight.

It is apparent you don't and won't tolerate Kyle as Mayor. There are some of us that thought the City was under represented when you were City Attorney. That said, Kyle will be seen as a better Mayor than you were as City Attorney. Sometimes I think that lunatic Allan Witte writes your blog!

 
At 10:32 PM, April 19, 2014, Anonymous Ron Paul said...

Hackamack is no hack. But YOU are.

 

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