How Magical is Absolute Power?

15 Mar

It seems that today Dwight Howard decided he would stay with the Orlando Magic for at least another year and a half. Some people may be upset at his seemingly fickle decision-making, while others will applaud his loyalty. Most of Orlando is probably stoked that he is sticking around, and I am kind of torn on this issue. I love what Dwight says, stands for as a person, and what he has done for the community.

On the other hand, I am not completely sure that building around him is the best way to win a championship. It is certainly a way to make sure the team makes the playoffs every year and gets to the conference semi’s or farther, which is probably better than the alternatives at the Orlando Magic’s disposal last week. In order to improve their stock, I am convinced that the Orlando Magic need to get another all star starter, particularly one with a good clutch game. This is why they made a move for Gilbert Arenas last year, I’m sure.

Having said all of that, this is certainly not the time I make a play for Otis Smith’s job as general manager. What I find amazing is that the Orlando Magic were seemingly willing to give Dwight Howard so much power. It was said that Dwight could determine whether the team would keep the coach (Stan Van Gundy) and GM (Otis Smith). Can you imagine being able to determine if the HR representative and your manager at your job got to stay? It certainly would be fun and fulfilling from a power perception perspective, but that isn’t necessarily the best thing to do.

I’ve heard it said that people raise to their highest level of competency in an organization. I believe that people actually raise to their lowest level of incompetence, as they keep getting promoted until they are slightly incompetent. While it is possible that some people would be capable of making decisions above their “pay grade,” the reality is that those people would be few and far between.

In addition, it is completely true that when one person is given too much power, it typically does not go well. The founding fathers of our country saw the potential when they divided what they saw as the three main jobs of government into three different branches. But even in small places, we can see this. Single people generally make less-informed decisions than married people. Individuals who work by themselves are often more apt to do something crazy than those who work in groups. Cults hardly ever have a group of several people leading the way.

Anyone dealing with a group that purposefully separates itself to the extent that they answer to noone, be careful.” This is why the Orlando Magic, if they want to be successful, may need Dwight Howard roaming the paint, but they definitely need someone else drawing the plays and determining who gets to play with Dwight, because as great of a person as Dwight is, he is not capable of doing the job of three people, especially when 29 other teams out there have three really bright, accomplished people doing so.

So, while the Orlando area resident in me is excited by the potential of the Orlando Magic with Dwight Howard, the logician in me is desirous of making sure they do not incapacitate themselves by pulling all effective power from Stan Van Gundy or Otis Smith. And if these two men are now essentially powerless to Dwight, the team must replace them with people willing and able to stand up to Dwight to tell him to stick to what he does best—rebound and block shots!

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One Response to “How Magical is Absolute Power?”

  1. Jenni September 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    My favorite thing about this blog was your statement that people rise to their lowest level of incompetence. Well said. I generally liked the blog, too, which is saying something since the only person that I really know whom you mentioned is Otis Smith, and that is because he came to our Field Day in elementary school one year.

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