This article from a British paper (via interesting people) claims that President Bush pulled out of a speech to the EU Parliament because organizers refused to guarantee him a standing ovation. Here’s hoping this is a false report, but it would certainly fit the pattern of Mayberry Machiavellism.
When Bush was campaigning, much was made about his MBA and experience in the corporate world. Apparently he’s making a classic mistake from that world, much as corporate managers do: confusing obedience for respect. Many managers believe it is their job to get an employee to do what they say; that is, to obey them. In fact the best managers resort to direct orders only when all else has failed. It is far more effective to earn the respect of the people who work for you, and tell them what you want them to do. If employees respect the manager enough, they will make the manager’s goals their own goals, and do a better job than if ordered.
President Bush “manages” the world’s most powerful nation. If he pushes hard enough and bribes aggressively enough, perhaps he can compel the EU Parliament to stand and slap their hands together for him. A standing ovation, though, can only be earned.