The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is notoriously chain of command.  I can understand why (I really can) if assistant and chief had not implemented the chain of command system unhappy employees, especially Chahta employees, would be in their offices airing their grievances.  What this administration fails to consider is that the chain of command system needs a balancing factor.  Why?

When you don’t have a strong human resources office, one that is ethical  and confidential in its treatment of employees then the employees are at the mercy of an oppressive or abusive supervisor.  They have nowhere to go and the choice is either to suffer the abuse, resign or eventually get fired.  The proverbial rock and a hard place.  When you have leaders who are elected then there is no choice but to get rid of them when they don’t fulfill their end of the bargain.  When they accept lies as the truth without calling for a 360 degree investigation then they have failed those who elected them.

According to Professor James G. Clawson there are universal signs of weakness in any business organization:

1.  Managers who leave frustrated with neglect and/or abuse.

2.  Middle management jobs are mostly “fire-fighting”.

3.  Managers who wanted to be leaders were stymied by bureaucracy.

4.  Without depth of management, people were promoted into positions they weren’t prepared for.

5.  Managers could not be moved across organizational boundaries.

6.  Managers were rarely coached or mentored (At the CNO the bright ones are too threatening).

7.  Managers had one chance only at promotion, regardless of whether that made sense.


When you pluck someone from your church to manage one of your most powerful divisions then you shouldn’t be upset when your IT system is twenty years behind the times and any suggestion to improve IT systems and processes is met as a potential threat to power – YOU shouldn’t be surprised.  So the argument that the Choctaw Nation is now a billion plus company and should no longer be treated as a tribal entity but a corporate giant falls on deaf ears.  If we, as Chahta’s, are truly not smart enough to hold the higher positions within the nation then why is this particular Executive Director’s division filled with strife and antiquated processes?  Wow all of that and he isn’t even Choctaw but one of those intellectually superior Non-Choctaws.

I overheard assistant once say that if you are Choctaw that alone will sometimes keep someone at the Choctaw Nation when maybe they are not so happy there (paraphrasing).  It will keep you there unless the administration decides to give power and support to the unethical, the threatened – the oppressors.