- Reaction score
Having been, as I have mentioned before, in a "chief of staff" appointment, serving a very senior officer I can sympathize with Mr. Wright's dilemma. One wants to spare the "great man" the burdens and details of the solutions to many problems. It is, often, usually, enough that he knows that a) there is a problem; and b) his trusty COS has a solution in hand. I remain amazed that Mr. Wright, by all accounts a sterling business executive, was either ethically challenged or unaware of some of the legal possibilities probabilities. But I am also conscious of the fact that people in "executive suites" develop a sort of tunnel vision ~ seeing every problem through a "fix it" lens.
Having been a COS myself, I can also attest to the truth that no matter how hard you think you are trying to run a good HQ, a few people can act in ways that will surprise and shock you. It's disconcerting that in the relatively limited and focused world of an HQ, there can be other agendas at play, and people who appear to be "towing the line" are then discovered not to be doing that at all. So, in that sense, maybe I have a bit of sympathy for Wright.
But, on the other hand, is it possible (as you suggest) that in his single-mindedness he contributed to the existence of a staff environment in which "fixing" problems (and problem people...) became the goal without regard for ethical considerations or possible second or third order effects/unintended consequences? The "bad apple" theory is a popular one, but remember that "bad apples" are often encouraged by the environment they sense around them. That environment is created by leadership, good or bad.