How and Why Things Can Go Tragically Wrong

August 5, 2021

The purpose, the goal of Communism was ultimate justice and happiness: All people will be equal; there will be no exploitation of other people. And what happened? Millions of kulaks, land-owners, were killed, and the nation of Ukraine was starved. Millions of people were sent to the gulags, where they suffered or perished.
 What went wrong? The goal was so pure.
Things go wrong when leaders believe that their purpose justifies whatever methods are used to achieve it. Put another way, it happens when people think their ends justify their means.
 “Purpose” is a goal; “means” is the process of reaching that goal. If you ignore the process in order to achieve the goal, or devalue how you manage the process, that's how you can go wrong.
 Having the right process is as important as achieving the goal. It may even be more important than the actual goal.  I would rather have a soccer team play outstandingly well and lose than have a lousy team win. The team that won, although it was less skillful, had luck on its side. And you cannot control luck. You cannot repeat it. The team that lost was unlucky but because it played well, next time it might win.
 We should pay attention to the process we use to reach the goal, instead of focusing entirely on the goal and ignoring the process of reaching it.
 An example could be a conflict we might have with our spouse. Let’s say we win the argument, but in the process of winning, we offended, shamed, or judged our spouse. That’s called winning the battle but losing the war. The marriage might be seriously damaged.
Is there someone from your past whom you do not care to work with? You may not remember why and exactly what happened, but you do remember that you don’t trust or respect this person. You remember how this person made you feel. What happened here? The how is as important as the what. What happened we do not remember. How it happened we cannot forget.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes