Monday, August 9, 2010

The Dome

My wife bought me a great present a couple of weeks ago: The Dome, by Stephen King.  He is a master storyteller with a brain that should be studied.

I haven't been able to put the book down, though it weighs in at 6.17 lbs (1,074 pages, soft cover - much like that all-in-one Lord of the Rings tomb my son is working through). As of page 812, the story, in a nutshell, is Lord of the Flies-like.  People get stuck in a New England town and, in a matter of days, all hell breaks loose.  Riots.  Murder.  Suicide.  All good King fare.

But what does this have to do with  my usual topic of pontification?

I wonder, inexplicable/supernatural events notwithstanding, how accurate is King's narrative?  Very, I would venture.  Psychological experiments have shown it again and again.  Here, we have a small town where everyone knows just about everyone.  Yet, at the drop of a hat, teams coalesce and it quickly becomes "us versus them."

It's amazing how innate it is to find someone to blame for a problem rather than focusing on a solution.  We see this all the time when it comes to emergencies and crisis situations.  First response by most people is to say, "It's not my fault!"  Preschoolers to Fortune 500 CEOs do it.

Here's my thought for the day: in a crisis situation, focus on solving the problem, not laying blame.  Your constituents won't necessarily remember who caused the problem (unless perhaps you pour a bazillion gallons of crude oil on them), but they're likely to praise and forever remember who solved it.

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