Power 101: Passing The Buck

Here’s the first in a new series called Power 101:


We’re all guilty of this one: passing the buck. Basically, in that moment where we need to step up and take charge, we tag out and call the next man in line to handle the job. Some of us have gotten so good at it that we even managed to learn how to swoop in and take the pick the fruits of someone else’s hard earned labors at just the right moment.

Ever had that boss who you wonder sometimes how the hell they keep their job? You know, the one who is good at schmoozing with senior management, writing checks with their mouth that only your hard work can cash? The same ones that WHENEVER the shit hits the fan, they sell you out faster than a fugitive fleeing at the sight of a picture of a cop car? Aren’t those the ones who cannot really do your job but yet insist on having you do things their constantly proven to be insipid way? Yes, everyone at some point has met or worked for bosses or coworkers like these.

Some people would call them leeches, but I might speak up for leeches and cry foul at such a misuse of a fine term. Leeches do serve a purpose and have a distinguished place in medicine. Some might call those folks vultures, but again, vultures do serve a purpose. For the sake of this piece, calling them cockroaches is acceptable because I’m still researching the benefits of having such seemingly adapt freeloaders in one’s house.

People pass the buck for different reasons. Not all folks are as enterprising as those freeloading bosses/friends/coworkers who like to skip out on the hard work and swoop in for a lion’s share of the credit in any endeavor. Some are just paralyzed by the decision-making process itself – more importantly, always seeking to be loved by everyone.

While being loved by everyone is a great idea and feeling in theory, it is often as futile a pursuit as holding a zebra down to rip away its stripes. You are bound to get resistance, and no one is ever loved by everyone in every moment. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that trying to please all will only make you be a perfect ass in the sight of many, as the “Pleasing All Makes One a Perfect Ass” entry will attest. Yet, some of us do play the game and while it seems that we are able to recover from those moments, all we are doing is setting ourselves up for is to reap the bountiful rewards of disappointment and ridicule.

Those who are in power, especially the ones in firm control of themselves, are often very comfortable in handling situations that come before them. They will either seek to address the issues or defer to someone else with expertise. Never do they pass the buck, not because of fear of losing a popularity contest, but out of respect for doing the right thing.

In the end, the respect of others earned in an honest manner is worth more than anything that can be obtained with a mountain’s worth of fool’s gold.

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