Managers, Part of the Problem? Changing How the Public Sector Works

By Camaron J. Thomas | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

The Seeds of a New Approach

There’s an old Tibetan saying, “If you are too clever, you could miss the point entirely.”

—Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

We need a new approach to what it means to be a public manager. A new source code, a new state of mind. It needs to affect us as individuals, as members of groups, and as part of the larger collective. It must be profound and long lasting. It will likely occur in the context of many other worldly changes.

The new state of mind will not take the place of formal education. Formal education is important because it opens up one’s mind to new ideas. Nor will it supplant experience, for the best managers will be those who gain experience through many jobs, who are promoted for their ability, and who have accepted that their best learning is not behind them.

The new paradigm will occur on many planes. It will affect what we do and how we do it, placing equal importance on both a manager’s actions and the intent behind those actions. An action without an intent is nothing more than just another process a manager engages when he or she arrives at work, like putting on a coat. When an action is coupled with an intent, it becomes a lifestyle, a way of being.

It will affect our perspective and our attitudes. It embodies a kind of rebelliousness, an unwillingness to accept things as they are, and a need

-35-

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