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Ben Shenton writes about "Those types of people".


"Those types of people"

IAVE followed the UK Post Office saga on Radio 4 for over a decade.

It rarely made the television news, as the televised national news fare appears to be designed so that even the most stupid will understand their output, presumably because we must not discriminate.

I watched the testimony of Paula Vennells, who came across as someone with very limited ability. If she was the best candidate for the role, then goodness knows what the other applicants were like. She probably belonged to the right clique, a “gin & tonic” appointment who was given the job because she would not rock the boat, and those appointing her were probably also of limited ability (albeit they did not know it because they had been appointed in the same way and believed in their own job title).

Rather depressingly, Jersey is full of “Paula Vennells” types, particularly in government. There are people on multiple boards because they toe the line. People in senior and middle management positions because they “suck up, and shout down”. People who know how to manipulate the truth because that is the culture. If anyone threatens them they defend their wicket with a straight bat. They protect their senior colleagues to the detriment of all those who work for them, and ultimately to the detriment of their employer.

In the Jersey public sector, some of the “Paula Vennells” types are under threat, as the increased public sector wage bill is unaffordable without job cuts (or higher taxes). They will defend their position by ignoring the fact that many of the middle managers are in jobs that are not necessary, and ignore the fact that some colleagues think working from home means binge-watching Netflix.

They will tell the public that nurses or police officers will need to be cut, deliberately scare-mongering, to cynically keep themselves and their over-remunerated mates in their cosy jobs. They have already started this, so expect plenty of scare-mongering stories going forward.

Real leaders are honest, get things done and lift others. The reason why many senior executives and senior civil servants don’t employ real leaders is because they don’t want a leader that gets things done, because their own cosy job will be in jeopardy.

If you work in a big organisation, look around and try to identify the “Paula Vennells” types. You may find it depressing how many there are.

Authored by:- Ben Shenton



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