In a speech given in 1986, US President Ronald Reagan said:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.’ “
I personally believe there are nine even more terrifying words in the English language:
“I’m from Head Office, and I’m here to help!”
I may be being unfair, but my significant need for high levels of both autonomy and
independence leaves me biased against ‘assistance’ in almost any form.
Avoid if you can the interference and bureaucracy that can so often slow down progress
and prevent you from getting things done.
One of my personal favourite ‘hates’ is ‘The Travel Policy’ usually designed to solve problems
that don’t exist or to deal with a single difficult employee group or recalcitrant. Everyone suffers
as a second-rate travel agent (chosen for cost rather than usefulness) now becomes your
interface in getting a ticket booked – it’s just a pity that they know less about travel than you do
and work in a different time zone.
I have a model that has served me well over the years: “Be as far away from Head Office
as possible and make your numbers”.
The secret is to be under their radar – there is always something closer to home that needs