ALL those damn MEETINGS!

It all began back in 1963. I was a newly hired management analyst for a mid-sized company that undertook statistical surveys for virtually any entity in the country with enough money to pay us.

I had been on-board approximately 8-months when I received a large manila envelope via inter-office mail. It contained a bulky procedural manual for the Corporate Policy Review Council to which the powers-that-be had just appointed me.

The cover memorandum stapled to the manual explained why executive management had appointed me to the Council.

There’s no need for details here except to say that the memo’s implication was that my agility with a slide rule and my lack of shyness in expressing myself seemed to impress the Executive Council.

Anyway, our meetings took place EVERY Friday beginning at 9 AM and ending (on average) two and a half hours later. And of course, most of the time, about the only thing we accomplished was agreeing to disagree.

I remained with that organization for an additional year before moving on to other professional endeavors. But my stay there did provide me with some interesting insights into the vast differences between what the executives SAID and what they actually DID.

However, this is a topic for another piece. My point with this one is to show the colossal waste of time and money that executive managers were—and still are—willing to fritter away just to make themselves look “good.”

And, in addition, I want to let people know just how dangerously insane an unfettered flow of male testosterone can be for the country as a whole.

For example, there were 9-members on the Corporate Policy Review Council back in 1963-64. All of its members were college graduates. But none of them were female.

In fact, in those days, females were nowhere near management ranks anywhere in the country, let alone serving on OVERSIGHT committees.

According to the Consumer Price Index, the median salary for MALE college graduates in 1963-64 was $9,700 a year. However, MY salary was $14,959 and I was not the highest paid member of the Council. But we’ll just use the CPI of $9,700 to keep things simple.

So, it begs the question: How far was a CEO willing to go in order to project an APPEARANCE of management by consensus while actually managing by MANIPULATION?

Nine members multiplied by an average salary of $9,700 a year comes to $83,300. Divide this by 37.5 (average weekly management hours) gives us an average combined hourly rate of $2,238 sitting around a conference table for two and a half hours a week for 48-weeks a year.

The arithmetic is simple. The company wasted $268,560 each year on a corporate policy review council. It was a waste simply because the ONLY policies that changed were the ones that the CEO wanted changed.

He could have accomplished the same outcomes AND saved a ton of money in the process had he simply managed by DIRECTIVE.

ALL companies do NOT manage by manipulation the way this one did. In fact, most private sector companies would go bankrupt in a hurry if they tried it.

But, public sector organizations (public schools, public universities/colleges, federal/local government bureaucracies, etc.) function exclusively by manipulation.

The only things that have changed over the years since 1963-64 are the salaries involved and the number of women serving in management positions. And even NOW, the latter is nowhere near where it should be relative to ratios that mirror the country’s population strata.

By the time I retired in early 2003, my annual salary was substantially higher than it was in 1963-64. In fact, I served on internal and external committees whose membership consisted of members’ aggregate salary reaching into the multiple MILLIONS.

But, all the while, manipulative management has remained alive and well!

On the national front, women comprise just about 51% of this nation’s population. Yet, within the Congress of the United States, the supposed ANCHOR of our representative form of democratic republic, they represent only 17% of the U. S. Senate and only 16.8% of the United States House of Representatives.

Don’t misunderstand me; women are every bit as capable as men are at being abjectly stupid. Sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity are just as dangerous coming from females as they are coming from males.

However, based on my direct experience, the totality of “smarts” available in any meeting room tends to increase as commensurate female representation among the group increases.

I suspect—and the empirical data available supports my suspicion—that a GROUP IQ does not correlate to the average IQ of its members; it correlates to the average of the group’s EMOTIONAL intelligence.

And, when it comes to emotional intelligence, women win the battle hands down. It’s probably why they don’t think making fart-sounds with the armpits is funny.

This also explains why the United States Congress can’t seem to find its collective butt with its OWN collective hands. And, provided we’re able to eliminate the Michele Bachmann’s and Barbara Boxer’s, it certainly seems like something worth thinking about… if you get my drift.

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