Response Timing is Critical…

Damned if you do, Damned if you don't its all Zero Sum...

As we can look to the east to see the dilemma the Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou finds himself in today with the current “Plasticide” debacle which has brought Taiwan into the worlds eye questioning the validity of the food supply being provided from their country.  As the ”wave” of concern moves forward we are seeing products being pulled from the shelf’s of stores in the greater Asia region and now Glaxso Smith Kline is acknowledging that drugs manufactured in the region may be affected also promoting a related recall.

Even on sovereign American soil one can look to the handling, or better put miss handling of the hurricane Katrina aftermath by the Bush administration.  As delayed action in the wake of this disaster created an up swelling in negative public perception which was never truly put to rest.  However if delaying to see where the pieces fall isn’t the right answer, then is jumping in with guns a blaze (metaphorically) right?  Here one will also find negative public labeling as typically a rapid reaction is an overreaction which will more times than not make the matter worse rather than better as all the aspect will not have been accounted for.  As the first thing you learn in emergency medical training is if you believe there has been a spinal injury , the worst thing you can do is move the patient even though your natural reaction will be to do just that.

So as the saying goes “you can please some of the people some of the time, however you cannot please all of the people all of the time” as we face the wide gray line of doing too little too late, or too much too soon.  As here it is we enter the world according to Joseph Heller who in 1961 wrote the iconoclastic novel “Catch-22” where there was only one catch and that was “Catch-22”.  Here it was specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Therefore one was “crazy” and could be grounded (in the case of the fictional bomber pilot  “Orr” in Heller’s novel).

As it turned out all one had to do was “ask” (not to serve); and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to serve more missions. However one would be “crazy” to serve more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he were sane he had to serve them. Yet if he served them he was “crazy” and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.

Here as it’s said, this realization moved the main character “Yossarian” so deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 that he “let out a respectful whistle”.  As every day we are faced with similar iconoclastic redundancies of “do as I say and not as I do” which challenge our own innate sense and sensibility  that we are sometimes only left in the world of the “damned” as in “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”…

About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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