Robert Burns’ critique of management

Published by Tony Quinlan on

In the recently-published Melcrum practitioner's guide to employee engagement, my chapter on using storytelling included the following Burns quote as a guide to what is on offer to management with techniques like Narrate's emotional audits:

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!

Or, if you'd rather,

O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!

I was very restrained and resisted the temptation to point out that this piece could very well be directed at many managers I have known and the poem is titled "To A Louse" and begins thus:

Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly,
I canna say but ye strut rarely