Leadership lessons from the Casey Anthony murder trial

I am prone to panic.

I mean, it’s understandable now that I’ve become disenchanted and lazy. Who the hell wants to scramble for solutions at this age and energy level?

But since late 2004 and I was out of work for five solid months, I haven’t slept a good night’s sleep. I’ve always been terrified of … well, the worst. Whatever that may be. I don’t speak it aloud or even define it in my mind. Law of Attraction, yo.

A friend confessed the other day that she has the same fear. She’s had it for two years. And it’s all based on the same reason — how idiot employers think their superstars are simply disposable.

We should be the ones with the security, you know? With the knowledge base, the contacts and the reputation, we should be the FIRST ones these guys are fighting for. Not the ones to be carelessly cast aside under the auspices of, “Oh they will land on their feet somewhere else.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, THEY are the ones in over their head. They don’t know how to handle ideas that aren’t their own. So they shoot yours down and/or claim them as their own. Why is it your fault that they don’t know what they’re doing?

Speaking of “in over one’s head,” I’ve taken an uncanny interest in the Casey Anthony trial. The defense lawyer, Jose Baez, is every boss I’ve ever hated — he HAS to be the smartest guy in the room. And he will lob slights and personal insults to the people who ARE the smartest in the room.

Arpad Vass testified yesterday, bringing the nascent science of testing air to the courtroom for the first time ever. And perhaps it’s Baez’ job to attack the witnesses’ credibility, but I felt he did so even more unfairly than usual.

(Not saying he didn’t abuse Yuri Melich and, oh, Caylee’s GRANDPARENTS. He did. Seems everyone is on trial BUT the alleged murderer.)

Anyway, Vass seems to have a small speech impediment, and I felt like Baez was treating him like a special category of idiot. But if you actually listened to the guy, he was goddamn brilliant. And passionate. And confident.

Why do people have to try to bring down the Vasses of the world? My kvetch is on a bigger scale than just yesterday’s courtroom interaction. It’s the whole “Swinging Dick” theory — everyone’s gotta wield their widdle weiners and try to prove that theirs is the biggest … particularly those whose weiners you would need a microscope and a petrie dish to see.

I was always the type of supervisor who wanted smarter people on my team. I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t know everything. Nor do I plan to become proficient at a thousand things. Nor do I want to pretend that I know more than the EXPERTS. (It always killed me how many people thought they were editorial gods and goddesses after one conversation with me. Uh, I forgot more than you will ever learn.)

Anyway, the good news is that Baez has no defense and Casey is surely soon to become the fourth woman on Florida’s Death Row.

And the better news is that Vass had jokes and zingers that he lobbed right back to Baez. I am ready to start a fan club for him. 🙂

But take that with you — it’s usually crystal-clear to others who’s the brains in the operation and who’s throwing roadblocks in their path to LOOK like the smart guy.

And when your credibility and experience gets attacked and patronized, just sit back and talk above their heads. Shouldn’t be too hard because the smartest people in the room are smart enough to know that they can stand to learn something from everyone else … and they will be laughing WITH you while the mean asshole struggles to come up with his next baseless insult because it’s the ONLY TRICK HE HAS.

One Lonely Response to Leadership lessons from the Casey Anthony murder trial

  1. Lachlan :

    A-freaking-MEN. Baez is a tool, Vass ain’t no fool.