It is now almost a week without power, thankfully water is back on. As usual on TV and social media everyone is playing the blame game. And you know you can’t win. As different types of information flies around, the complexity is overwhelming and usually nothing changes. In any organization, family or simple task where a group of homo sapiens must collaborate and share the workload , things get complicated.
WHO GIVES A SH*T? I often get the urge to shout it in business meetings. Now let me take my example here in the cold while I watch my freezer contents melt to try and dissect how nobody gave a SH*T and we ended up like this. In fact I think this will become a huge management guru type moment, if we survive please invite me as a motivational speaker to come and explain how it will solve all your organization’s problems.
Ι live in a rich suburb of Athens, a European capital, the year 2021. It is in fact probabl;y in the top 10 richest areas in Greece, a beautiful residential area full of trees. Pine trees. Why pine trees?
- NOBODY GAVE A SH*T as our environment was degraded from beautiful indigenous species, to pine trees. They act like cockroaches, incredibly sturdy and adaptable. After every forest fire that wiped out biodiversity pine trees appeared first. Most people were just happy to see anything green grow. Unfortunately pine trees are not well adapted to snow fall. So they break easily. And when they fall, they take with them the power lines.
Now it gets complicated. An American would say “buy yourself a chainsaw and clear that damn tree yourself!” If we lived in frontierland and were all physically able and strong enough, maybe it would be an option. As a kid I remember many a Saturday with my siblings and father clearing trees either for the fireplace or for safety. Taller trees were a bit tricky, thankfully we had no major accidents. Then the local authorities decided that they should tackle trees near power lines. It made sense. Then they stopped doing it. We called and reported danger spots, they said they had done all they could.
- NOBODY GAVE A SH*T as these requests piled up. The local authorities made their own interpretation of a recent legal change to power distribution and decided it wasn’t their job. They acted as if they had no right to interfere while they clearly had both a right and an obligation to deal with those danger spots.
So it snowed and the trees broke and power supply was disrupted. Elderly people in my area were left with no heating, no telephone, no power, stuck in roads with no access, buried under heavy snowfall and blocked by fallen trees. How did all the guilty parties react? The local authority applied to put us in a state of emergency. Great, that takes the responsibility out of their hands. Pass the hot potato, why not? So they announce that the Army, Fire Dept and every other special unit is coming to save us. Government acted like they have solved the problem. And…nothing. Six days into the problem and nobody has knocked on doors to check if the people in the houses are alive. Single parents with kids huddled around fireplaces burning furniture, desperate but unable to brave the cold or leave the kids alone while they go for help.
- NOBODY GAVE A SH*T. You imagine the control center of a special unit in a tent and some commander shouting out orders. You imagined wrong. That “can do” attitude, you know when the boss says “I don’t care HOW you do it, just GET IT DONE!” That is the “who gives a sh*t” moment when boss shows he gives a sh*t. That is what makes a boss.
I could continue breaking down the thousands of people that didn’t give a damn, a hoot or a sh*t but my netbook battery won’t last forever. Please. Be part of the solution. It is a lovely sunny day here in Dionysos, Greece, but around 5pm it starts getting cold and by 7pm it is freezing with no power.
Be a leader. Be a doer.
Give a sh*t.