How Sudden Failures Happen Gradually

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Susan Cramm:

The book Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) discusses the psychological need to feel competent -- even when evidence to the contrary abounds. The AIG debacle revealed a classic illustration of this in the denial of responsibility by ex-CEO Maurice Greenberg. He said, "I don't feel any responsibility at all...how can I be responsible for something that happened when I'm not there?"

Let's get real. Mr. Greenberg worked at AIG for 38 years and left less than 4 years ago. He hired the people currently in charge and "was behind the expansion push that included creating the financial productions unit that nearly sank the firm after he left in 2005." With due respect to the octogenarian, is this any way for a grown up to behave?

Everyone knows that things fail gradually, then all at once. The seeds of AIG's destruction were surely planted, watered and tilled by Mr. Greenberg and his fellow leader-gardeners.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Zellmer published on May 14, 2009 12:03 PM.

Soar Above the Skyful of Lies was the previous entry in this blog.

How the Mighty Fall: A Primer on the Warning Signs is the next entry in this blog.

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