I know of no one who is arguing that the U.N. does not need reform or that we should not be a strong (tough) catalyst demanding reform at the U.N. Of course there is corruption and insanity in the membership on human rights and other commissions. No Democrat or Republican has said “leave the place alone, its fine!” The question is, or should be, what skills and style will facilitate the needed change.
Let’s be clear about one thing. The toughest managers at General Electric do not get away with abuse of their people. If you are going to be promoted in the most competitive (tough) corporation in this country, you MUST have good people skills, motivate your people, and treat them with dignity.
There seems to be complete confusion over being tough on competition, tough in getting a job done, and tough (read abusive) on the people around you. If you are going to succeed as a manager in the corporate world you have to build alliances, coalitions and create the unity of a strong team. You don’t get there by berating and humiliating subordinates or colleagues.
American’s are largely suffering under some delusion that an American U.N. Ambassador can go to New York and bully everyone into submission by being “tough.” Nonsense. Just as likely that the Ambassador from Kenya or Argentina will tell our Ambassador to kiss off. We have little or no “power” in the tough guy sense to command any other country to do our will. The way we will get reform or anything else done is by listening, creating good will, creating credibility that has largely been lost in the last few years, and by the power of intelligent persuasion. We seem to forget that the U.N. is a democracy. Representatives vote. And they have largely been voting against the U.S. because of our failure to persuade and because of our arrogant assumptions about our own power.
We need someone who is a good salesman, who can negotiate and create the bonds of unity. We will learn that sooner or later. If Mr. Bolton goes to New York, we may learn it quickly. And, perhaps this is the way we must learn.