Leadership

Running in Ruts.

Issue 22 and Volume 1878 1.

Running in Ruts. Public officials are prone to fall into regular routine ways of doing business—to running in ruts, as it were—and to be unwilling to make changes. They do things a certain way because “ it has been the custom of the Department ” to do them that particular way from time immemorial. Public officials, who fall into these ruts, are apt to regard the drawing of their salaries as the most important part of their duties, and to “ let the machine run itself” as per rules and regulations laid down in former generations. This is not in keeping with the American character to be sure, but smacks loudly of the Circumlocution Office, as described by Dickens. Much of this old fogyism is to be found in the Fire Departments of the large cities. Those in authority are too frequently appointed because of their political affinities rather than…

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