On preparing management for the future

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The old and respected manager is briefing his successor on how to cope with crises in the job. He hands the new guy two envelopes, and explains, ``If you get into a spot of trouble and you have no idea what to do, open the first envelope and do as instructed. That will solve your problems. And then, if you get into trouble again, follow the advice in the second envelope. Do as I say, and you will not go far wrong.''

So, in due course, the new manager make a balls-up of something, and, stuck for ideas, he opens the first envelope. ``Blame everything on me,'' it says; so he does, everyone believes him, and disaster is averted.

After that, things go pretty well for a little while, but eventually another crisis rears its head. Fresh out of good ideas, he opens the second envelope, and reads the instructions inside: ``Prepare two letters....''

(Often told of Kruschev and Brezhnev.)

Copyright (c) 2001 Chris Lightfoot. All rights reserved.