Bureaucracy And System

I watched the interview of Prince Harry and Meghan and it stirred up some concerns of mine that I have had for many years.  Those are the issues of “bureaucracy” and the visible and invisible barriers created by “bureaucracies.”

I openly share that when I personally or my organizations bumped into “bureaucracy,” I backed off. In other words, my being ruled and restricted by administrators or systems never sat well with me.  When it happened (and I am sure it did) I walked away if I could. If not (school; jobs I had as a kid, military service, etc.), I did what had to be done to the best of my abilities but made little noise and stayed in the shadows. Being myself and following my own tune is apparently deep-seated in me.

Interestingly, I remember reading that Confucius (the father of bureaucracy in China) had constant trouble with bureaucracies wherever he tried to influence leaders. This is also true of Plato when he was invited to be with Pericles, the leader of Athens. How often has this occurred that bureaucracy created to manage systems also attempts to controls all that live within its invisible walls? 

I see this as a non-problem for most people since we are born into systems. We call this our family and remain in a variety of systems throughout our lives. Lenette and I created organizations, and as leaders, we think and hope we dealt with our employees as individuals and not as part of a “system.” Yes, all organizations have rules; some are stifling and others flexible. And yet, I wonder now whether we did or did not create systems and walls? It is long past that time, but those who were there would remember and know. Systems may be ubiquitous so avoiding them may be impossible.  

It is why I believe most people may not understand Prince Harry and Meghan.  Prince Harry was born and raised within the Royal Bureaucracy. This is what he has experienced, and this is what he knows. Without question, what his wife has gone through is so powerful an experience that they are both deeply scarred by what transpired and can never again be without scar tissue.   

The creation of “systems” may be inevitable, and I suggest that “bureaucracy “may be necessary to serve the system and the people within it, but bureaucracy ought not to rule. I reacted against powers that sought to control me. Being responsible for my own actions “was right for me.” I have experienced and know that degrees of responsibility are what most people can handle. I also know that there are those that avoid any responsibilities. So be it. We need to recognize and accept the differences amongst people and respect what a person chooses for themselves and how they live their own life. 

Living under the control of professional administrators is what some people are born into and learn to expect they will be cared for throughout their lives. They become accustomed to the structure and security provided by the system.  When care and controls are expected but denied there must be a terrible sense of helplessness if one lives within the system. It takes courage to live one’s own life and be fully responsible for oneself. Some of us would have it no other way.  Sy

 I am born helpless————-In time I become able————-Freedom to be me.  

If I am cared for—————–For how long and in what ways? ———-Knowing essential.

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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