at the highest levels of government and corporations, we have accepted a culture of rewarding failure. That is why perhaps the best job in America is to be a failed CEO. You receive millions in severance and are once more given opportunities to either try it again, or serve on a board of directors where you can again escape accountability for failure. In fact, while President Obama calls for "clawbacks" of banker's bonuses, nobody seems to be calling for directors to return the compensation that they received for poorly "supervising" financial institutions and other corporations that struggle or fail.
Steve Kerr, former chief learning officer of GE and Goldman Sachs, notes that the biggest problem with compensation is what he calls "asking for A while rewarding B." If we are serious about asking for excellent performance, then we have to stop rewarding failure. It's a simple equation — and until we get it right, the President's calls for greater accountability will have a hollow ring.
That's Sean's mistake. And mine. And perhaps, if you find that people don't always do what you ask, yours too. We like being liked. We're too nice. We don't want to appear rude.
Unfortunately, it's a bad strategy. Because setting a rule and then letting people break it doesn't make them like you, it just makes them ignore you.
That’s what makes Gunpowder work. It fills the gap between the great specialty restaurant where you’re there just for the food, not for the atmosphere; and the professional, slick restaurant where the ambience is perfect, the food is excellent, but the passion is a little muted. Delhi could do with more Gunpowders, and perhaps the new breed of young, enthusiastic chefs will deliver on this count — but that’s a whole other column.