My "Watch," My Responsibility!

In the case of apparent atrocities at Abu Ghraib, I have been dumbfounded that most of the consequences have been laid at the feet of enlisted personnel. I surely favor punishing them if guilty. But why no Courts Marital (or have I missed something?) for the higher ups. The whole damn chain of command should have been held accountable.

Which leads me to Patricia Dunn, HP's chairwoman. Simple: She should step down. The California Attorney General seems certain something criminally illegal occurred in the process of "pretexting" to dig up info on Board members' phone records. I surely don't think Ms Dunn did it herself or even knew about it. But, damn it, it happened on "her watch." I surely think she has every right to defend herself against accusations, and I likewise acknowledge that I am hardly aware of the details.

But the/my point is straightforward: Something scurrilous clearly occurred. It occurred on "her watch." While she may be several degrees of separation from the dirty deed itself, as one reviews the Board's affairs, she is clearly responsible for setting the tone that may have spurred the excessive (criminal?) behavior.

Your watch. Your responsibility. That's the whole damn point of a chain of command—in Iraq or Palo Alto.

Step down, Ms Dunn.

Tom Peters posted this on September 12, 2006, in Leadership.
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