Business leaders are the kind of people you would willingly cross live rails in damp socks to avoid

Apparently, in today’s business environment, it is no longer necessary actually to think, or lead, or have an idea. All that is needed is for someone to say repeatedly that they are a thinker, or a leader, or an ideas person, and then heroically fail to understand any aspect of a traditional causal link, in English, between spoken claim and actual prowess. Words mean precisely how loud you shout them.

But management, its transparent duplicity of language and shallowness of soul and thorough lack of wit, is not just disliked today in Britain, it’s quite actively loathed: and television is reflecting this more and more powerfully.

If I were this week whatever a business leader is, watching the dramatisation of my profession and its own portrayal in reality, I would wonder very hard at the emergence of a British population sadly resigned to daily governance by the kind of people whose personality and morals and intellects a staggering majority of the country would, in the real world, willingly flee by crossing live rails in damp socks.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 20 Feb 2005

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