"Bureaucrats – Selection & Development"

Bureaucrats - Selection & Development

(Also solving the problem of Officer Shortage in the Armed Forces)


Understanding Bureaucracy - Learn discipline & to take orders before issuing orders - attitude of service before self - contract service period extendable on performance - lateral entry from Military and corporate world taking advantage of required expertise.

Quotations for consideration:

  • “The perfect Bureaucrat every where is the man who manages to make no decisions and escapes all responsibility.” - Brooks Atkinson .
  • “Any sufficiently advanced Bureaucracy is indistinguishable from molasses.” - Anon.
  • “It is easy to prove a project or policy as a failure or as a success. To prove it failure just list the weaknesses without mentioning any strengths. To prove it a success list its strengths without mentioning the weaknesses.” - Anon.
  • “Guaranteed salaries and tenured jobs and ‘No skin in the game’ i.e, benefits they claim credit for, losses they are protected from. Ex-post facto reasoning always shows the faults are not theirs or that they had actually predicted what they had really not. They thus believe that their intellectual contribution is greater than it really was and that they understood more than they really did.” - Nassim N. Taleb
  • (Because power corrupts), Society’s demand for moral authority and character increases as the importance of the position increases.” - John Adams .
  • “A light house is more than a building with a light on top of it. A light house is a building with a light and a commitment (of the keeper) to keep it burning… without the commitment to serve, it is just an interestingly shaped building with a light on it.” - Adm. James M. Lay
  • “Put faith in the young officers, who have integrity, intellect, energy, drive and application and a commitment to make our Country prosperous. Pay must accord with performance, not time spent on the job.” - Lee Kuan Yew .
  • “… it is always good to take competent men from outside the Services for specialized posts. That tones up the Services… Servicemen should realize that security in the Service depends on continued competence and efficiency and that they will not get promotions and indeed they may not (even) continue in the Service if they fail even normal standards” - Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru , speaking about the Civil Services.

Key Concepts

  1. The Politician, the Professional & the Bureaucrat -need to constantly exhibit their worth.

“It’s much easier to sell ‘look what I did for you’ than ‘look what I avoided for you’ - ofcourse a bonus system based on ‘performance’ exacerbates the problem. No one becomes a hero for what they did not do. Even the doctor who advises letting the body cure itself instead of what may be an expensive intervention surgery, will not be as financially rewarded as the doctor who advises the surgery even if the odds favour self healing. The true hero in the ‘Black Swan’ world is the one who prevents a calamity and, naturally, because the


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