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INDUSTRY INSIGHT Too Difficult


In one of JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter stories’, Professor Dumbledore counsels the troubled boy wizard, pondering a difficult decision, by telling him


Angus Long


ethic of today. So, the subject of my column this month is one of “attitude”, specifically the attitude to work by those who are in charge of our public institutions. Yes, those who are in command of the very institutions that govern the way we live and for many of us, institutions that can literally mean the difference between life and death. I’m a great believer in


T


the adage that one’s attitude and outlook is greatly influenced by the education and experience bestowed upon us in our youth. Well, it certainly applied to me and none more so than during my time in the military. Back in the late 1980’s, I was a young soldier in the Army Medical Corps and had the pleasure of working with, and being mentored by, a great many excellent people who taught me much. However, there was one particular officer whose attitude to his role as the Officer-in-Command will


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...RememberHarry,itisfar hardertodowhatisright, thanwhatiseasy...”


HE PHRASE, although plucked from a work of popular fiction is, in my view, an uncanny metaphor for many an attitude and work


forever be etched in my consciousness. I’ll refer to him as ‘The Major’ to save his blushes in case he’s reading this. The military, believe it or not, is just like every


other public sector organisation and is still required to adhere to various levels of administration, formalities, paperwork and officialdom. Oh yes, contrary to what many may think, rather than running about in the woods wielding a gun and yelling orders, most senior officers spend a large proportion of their working day behind a desk dealing with bureaucracy and refilling a pen instead of a pistol. Like his peers and fellow


officers The Major had his office and said desk, he even had plastic In and Out trays in which to place the various work he needed to do and oversee. Except that, The Major had a third plastic tray in the middle of the other two, this one was labelled “Too Difficult”. It was the sort


of thing that aroused a certain curiosity, but not the sort of thing a subordinate would ever overtly question the Officer-in-Command. Over time


Ability Needs Magazine


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