What I learned from Chris Christie’s Traffic Jam.

As much as I hate to admit it, Producers have something in common with Politicians.  So do CEOs, Presidents of Companies, and anyone who runs a business, whether that business has one employee or one hundred.

Producers, Politicians, et al, have to lead.

As much as we’d all like to do our jobs all by ourselves, we can’t.  We count on people working for us and with us to accomplish our goals.

Chris Christie is a leader.  He’s a leader cut from a bit of a different cloth than we’ve seen recently.  And his say-it-like-it-is, cross-the-aisle, passionate form of politics has impressed a lot of people (including, at times, the author of the blog).

But last week, his career had a serious hiccup.  And he may not recover.

What happened?  Did he know about the traffic jam?  Did he not?

To me, it doesn’t matter . . . because my concern is the atmosphere this leader created within his administration that caused the whole thing to happen in the first place.

We all know Bridget Anne Kelly was the staffer that ordered the “hit” on the George Washington Bridge.  Why?  She had to believe, even if the governor-with-two-first-names didn’t order her to do it, that he wanted it done.

And that’s even more dangerous than Chris-squared doing the deed himself.

As a Producer, a Politician, or even a Parent (!), everything you say and everything you do is an example for others.  So when you lead your company, whether that’s a company of actors, or a dry cleaning company, make sure what you say is also what you’d do . . . or someone may do it for you.

And then you’ll be done.

Do you think Christie will recover?  Let me know below.


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  • Christie has always been a bully, this seems to be catching up to him. People have kept silent, as not to be bullied, or further bullied. As people come forward, others are empowered.

    I believe it will take time, but the governor and the lieutenant governor will, in my opinion, eventually lose their jobs.

  • Polo says:

    He was the R’s best hope for 2016. No more. Can you say, “Hello President Hillary.”

  • Randi says:

    That’s a really interesting point, that it’s worse not if he did it but if his staff believed he wanted it. It’s hard to explain but I think it’s true. Regardless of whether he knew or not (he did), I’m glad he won’t be president now.

  • Cheryl Dzubak says:

    As a resident of NJ, I have to say that any Presidential hopes are now dashed. I believe that he knew about the bridge lane closures. He even joked about it and said he would be the man in the overalls moving the orange cones. Why did he not question it then and ask who authorized the closures? If he honestly did not know about what was going on, he did not lead such a tight ship and have reins over his staff as we were led to believe. Regardless, he still should have questioned who authorized the lane closures. Either way, he is finished and now with these other “bullying’ allegations surfacing, he is finished as a presidential hopeful, and as our governor. All that needs to be found is direct proof linking him to these allegations. They will be found eventually. He and top staff involved will most likely have to resign before his term is finished and his second term just began today.

  • Marc Zegans says:

    Great article Ken,

    but as Yip Harburg would say, it needs a money song. Enjoy!

    The Lanes They Are A Changin’

    Come Trentonites, New Jerseyians
    wherever you roam
    and admit that your car
    will never get home.
    you’ll be stuck in traffic
    somewhere in Fort Lee
    wishing to God
    you’d endorsed Christie
    instead of buldin’
    renaissance homes
    For the lanes they are a changin’.

    Come reporters, assemblymen
    who dig deep for dirt
    but don’t look to hard
    or you’re sure to be hurt
    Bridget Kelly’s got a list
    she’s gunnin’ for you.
    Like she went after Fulop
    She’ll never be true
    cause in Fort Lee
    the lanes they are a changin’.

    While Christie ran round
    movin’ the cones.
    Stepien was off dialin’ phones
    raising funds for the last hope
    of the Republican Party
    A bully boy name of Chris Christie
    Who prosecuted his interests
    better than crooks
    pullin’ out all his
    jimmies and hooks
    For the lanes they are a changin’

    The lanes have opened
    the traffic has passed
    But Fort Lee won’t forget
    this pain in the ass
    Prosecutors and committees
    will have the last laugh
    as pundits see hopes
    for 2016 a fadin’
    and the one was first
    is headin’ for last
    Cause the lanes they are a changin’

    Marc Zegans, 2014 (With Apologies to Bob Dylan)

  • Norma Kramer says:

    I believe Christie’s chances on the national stage are now toast ! I totally agree with you Ken either way whether he knew or not it’s a no win situation if he knew he is a liar if by any chance he was unaware then he has no control of his administration…….both scenarios are despicable. Forget th White House, he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t end up in The Big house !

  • Paula says:

    Let’s just say that it doesn’t look good!!
    A commentator on the radio mentioned that
    Christie had said when first elected, I will
    know everything that passes across my desk.

  • Paul L says:

    You have it exactly correct in my view. I like to call it the “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” syndrome. Now, lets talk about our IRS problem.

  • Katherine says:

    Nope. Chris-squared is history. Dare I say it? – the Fat Lady has sung.

  • Drama Teacher says:

    “We all know Bridget Anne Kelly was the staffer that ordered the “hit” on the George Washington Bridge. Why? She had to believe, even if the governor-with-two-first-names didn’t order her to do it, that he wanted it done.”

    Kaffee: Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the mess hall is, please.
    Cpl. Barnes: Well, Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.
    Kaffee: You mean to say in all your time at Gitmo you’ve never had a meal?
    Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.
    Kaffee: I don’t understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it’s not in this book?
    Cpl. Barnes: Well, I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.

  • Paul L says:

    Well, Drama Teacher, it seems that there are a whole lot of folks around that like to “punish” their enemies (did I hear J. P. Morgan, punishee).

    There are even some folks who, gasp, keep lists.

    Then again it all revolves about what you mean by “it”.

    I want you to know that I, in no way, condone what was done. The situation was totally out of hand, and inappropriate would just not cover it.

    But how about we look over the whole battle field, shall we.

    The fact is that they’re all making fools of us. And I mean all. The Administration, the Democrat and Republican pretenders are all in this game, up to their necks, and and all using the same tools.

  • Rich says:

    It’s absolutely astounding how much media coverage ‘Bridgegate’ has received. At day’s end, its just a traffic jam at a bridge, albeit over several days! Of course if he was directly involved with it or knew about it and lied, his Presidential aspirations are toast, and rightfully so. (If he was directly involved I’d support impeaching him.) But this ‘he created an atmosphere’ stuff is grasping at straws. How many supporters of this view hold President Obama equally guilty for ‘creating an atmosphere’ resulting in ~250 Conservative groups not being granted requested tax exempt(501C)status by the IRS?

    • David Merrick Jr says:

      Uh, Rich, a woman died in an ambulance that got stuck in the traffic created by the lane closures.

      This is hardly just a traffic jam…

  • In the field of corporate compliance one of the critical building blocks of an ethical corporation which follows a legal and otherwise compliant path is what we call “Tone at the top”. So as is often the case Ken you are right, the gov got what he wanted without having to ask._

  • Michael L. says:

    Ken, I’m writing to let you know how much I appreciate what you wrote about being a role model in politics, theatre, parenting, and in any endeavor where you’re a leader. Others learn from actions far more than from what’s said.
    Not only did Christie create an environment where his staff felt sanctioned to abuse their power, he hired those people.

  • Caitlin O'Heaney says:

    Excellent thinking. I have to agree with you that ATMOSPHERE is really the most vital ingredient of any kind of company. The Atmosphere is the Heart, the Engine, the Soul of any group of people committed to achieving the same Goal. From this comes the Energy and thus the Inspiration to accomplish that Goal.
    So in saying that, I must ask….what kind of atmosphere did Cristie create for his staffer to feel safe to do what she did? Will Christie recover? I hope not….although his denial of any knowledge or involvement was articulate and intelligent, he lost my trust. But we are a society of fickle, greedy and disloyal beings…for the most part easily swayed by charm, $$$ and power. So will he recover?? Probably…unfortunately.

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