Too true. I was having a similiar discussion with a collegue who is a senior officer in the Canadian military. In that particular world, it is not the best and the brightest who rise to the top. It is the ‘Golden children’ who rise to the highest heights of leadership. Their particular foibles such as abusive alcoholism are shielded from view until they commit a great enough incident that gets the attention of the public. After the predictable roar of the masses, the enablers scatter like roaches. Hence, this particular nasty drunk didn’t become the head of the Canadian Army.
Organizations are not immune to shielding their eyes from the inconvenient truth. There may be systemic problems for decades but adminstration closes ranks, has their committee meetings and declare victory, usually once every couple of weeks. Meanwhile, nothing ever changes but it sure looks like people are busy!
It is the rare person who has the guts to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. It is even rarer when that person is actually listened to.