I once had a boss who used to joke with his underlings as he walked out the door, “Work harder, work longer.” It was his twist on the old adage, “Don’t work harder, work smarter,” which reminds us to be more concerned with results than with process.
Unfortunately, with his speech about national security yesterday, President Obama appears to be taking my old supervisor literally. Focusing on process, Obama says the key to making sure the snafu that allowed the Nigerian Muslim terrorist to nearly blow up Northwest 253 is to work harder and longer on our intelligence gathering and analysis.
So Mr. Obama doesn’t think we need to change our basic approach or the people running it. The formula to begin “connecting the dots” seems to be: same strategy, same people, different results. In other words, “work harder, work longer.”
My boss was kidding. I only wish Mr. Obama were doing the same.