Friday, January 26, 2018

HEY!!!! YOU!!!!

HEY, you, JFNA Board Member -- yeah, you, I'm talking to you...

Have you ever heard Edmund Burke paraphrased: "All that is necessary for the triumph of mediocrity is for good people to do nothing." And, that's exactly what you have been doing: NOTHING...nothing at all

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

In writing about the ultimate removal/forced retirement of Peter Martins as the CEO, the professional leader, of the New York City Ballet and School of American Ballet, in the New York Times, the past Chair of the School, looked back on the futility of a do-nothing Board:
"Because they're volunteers, they often yield to management and particularly to charismatic...leaders. When presented with evidence to the contrary they...look the other way."
Yeah, I'm talking to you. 

I'm sorry, but what I have observed over the past decade is "Board as sheep;" yes, at JFNA, sorry to say, volunteer sycophancy has become JFNA's stock in trade. While systemic collapse is now accelerating at quark-like speed, JFNA leadership -- from its Board Chair through its Executive Office (where the combined compensation of the CEO and Executive Vice-President, according to the most recent JFNA 990, remarkably, now exceeds $1 million per year) right through its Board -- sticks its collective head in the sand allowing it the fiction that all is just peachy.

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

By inaction, inattention...the federations and the JFNA Officers and Board are passively engaged in the deconstruction of JFNA...a deconstruction that is already spreading to the federations themselves (or, perhaps, that deconstruction has already spread upward from the federations to JFNA). The JFNA hegemonic class is clearly made up of the disinterested, the lazy, the "let the other guy do it, I'm too busy" class who as a group clearly fail to understand the basic meaning of fiduciary duty and, thus, don't understand that they are in breach of that responsibility to each other and to the institution they have been elected/selected to lead, to govern. These leaders think an important decision is reclassifying Board members so that only voting member may participate on an ad hoc basis.

And, at the head of the organization you have two avatars of the "do-nothings" -- a Board Chair who announced before taking office that he would delegate everything to the CEO and "just get out of his way" and a CEO who has been and is the apotheosis of failure. In another age, but within the JFNA era, communal leaders demanded that the Board and Executive Chairs (then there were both, no more) take action under similar circumstances and they did. Today? Not a chance.

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

In any progressive organization you see leaders building on success -- from small successes to great ones; at JFNA when there has been success, each one has been nothing more than a one-off (JFNA-Washington, disaster relief) succeeded not by greater success but by folly and failure.

Yeah, I'm talking to you.

But I don't think you're listening.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you enjoy trying to raise the dead? It's hopeless.