Friday, February 12, 2010

I Have Confidence in Sunshine

Why doesn't the word "confidential" have anything to do with the concept of "confidence?"

In my department we have job titles for "Confidential Bookkeeper to the Supervisor" and "Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor." Confidential is all about secrecy. I have to say, in local government, there's really not much room for secrets.

I'm in the process of replacing the Confidential Bookkeeper. I don't know which of us lost confidence in the other first, but it was a rapid downward spiral. I'm glad I can trust my Confidential Secretary (secretary - get it?) not to blab too much about how we're laughing at some of the resumes I've gotten. But bookkeeper? I think I want to trust him/her to be completely open.

I definitely want to have confidence in both my bookkeeper and secretary. My secretary told me yesterday that she remembers that in her interview I asked, "Is it ever okay to tell a lie?" Like many people, she thought maybe it's okay when someone asks, "Do you like my outfit?" With practice, she'll find ways to answer even those questions honestly and constructively.

I want to have confidence in my entire staff to cover my back. And I know that to earn their loyalty, I have to be sure they never have to lie to defend me. Idealistic? Yeah. But still a good goal.

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