AT the end of the day, it's the Number One who's responsible. As is often seen, the head honcho is the guy who'll take the rap or enjoy the acclaim and kudos. When you are the Numero Uno, you have to be accountable for all the actions, or lack of them, of your subordinates and associates.
That's life's karma. That's the way things are, or should be. But quite often, we encounter occassions when the Number One knows little or nothing of the goings-on under his jurisdiction or within his area of operation. Sometimes, the Number One only came to know after the damage is done.
Let me relate an incident where a senior company executive bought a brand new car recently. For a few days, he was happily driving his family for lunch and dinner. Suddenly. the car had a malfunction. A fault after only a week on the road? Alarmed, the owner got in touch with the salesman who took it to the workshop for inspection.
A few days later, the car was released. The owner was happy, the salesman was relieved, the mechanic triumphant. But a trace of arrogance and a patronising attitude accompanied the workshop bosses when attempts were made to find out what was wrong with the car. It was also apparent that customer relations is not a strong point with this company.
As chance would have it, the same malfunction occurred hardly a week after this! Which means a repeat display of arrogance is about to unfold.
Somehow, the buyer managed to register his grievance with the Number One of the car company. Number One wasted no time and woke every one up from their slumber and demanded some quick, honest action. This time, every one took notice - the salesman, the mechanic, the engineer, the supervisors, the managers!
In this instance, the buyer is fortunate that he has some access to the Number One. And this Number One wasted no time in demanding remedial actions be taken. He just can't tolerate sloppy work, much less subordinates or associates who sleep on the job!
I also know several Number Ones who suppressed their junior colleagues; who have very little engagement with team members; who lead their staff up the garden path only to be dumped at the end; who have no qualms about piling up debts and then abandoned company and staff.
Against this perspective, I caught the movie '300' and saw the potrayal of a Number One who leads by example, who gave his life for his country and people, who commands loyalty of his warriors to their last breadth. This Number One took 300 of the country's elite fighters to defend the country's honour, the life of his people and the nation's heritage.
That's Number One for you! It makes good storylines for movies. But in real life, we all know of Number Ones who terrorise the world, lead their countries to annihilation, lead with ears that refuse to hear and eyes to see, and feed their hearts with greed and make-belief!