Getting rid – a lesson from City Hall

On Thursday, 96 days after her appointment became official ,Cathie Black, New York’s School Chancellor “resigned” from Mayor Bloomberg’s administration. A couple of visits to NYC ago the rumbling over this appointment was already well under way but the Mayor went ahead only to see 3 months of rancour, gaffes and plumetting poll numbers result. Back then, as I read both the broadsheets and the tabloids, the charge was ‘unqualified’, ‘no experience’, ‘no proper selection’ in otherwords a bad candidate selection by a Mayor who prides himself on this business accumen.


Under such pressure Mayor Bloomberg’s usual MO is to dig his heels in and ride the storm but this time he wisely dumped the passenger who was sapping his political strength. Lessons to be learnt are recruiting the right person in the first place but also having the conviction to get rid of the same candidate quickly if they are not living up to expectations. A bad hire is not going to get any better with time especially when the failings, as they were with Ms Black, are so manifest.

Better to admit a bad hire than to live with the constant reminder of failure.


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