When Bosses Make Tough Decisions–and Get Egged

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So you’re an exec who shoots to stardom in a time of crisis and are subsequently given the top job and a mandate to remake your organization. You do so–and that’s when the trouble starts. TIME senior writer Christine Gorman writes this week about Julie Gerberding, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Read it, even if you’re not usually interested in the machinations of government bureacracy: it’s an incisive lesson in executive power and management.

One interesting stat relevant to many workplaces today: “Perhaps the most immediate problem is the number of senior-level people who are leaving. Part of that is an unavoidable function of aging–40% of the CDC’s 9,000 employees will be eligible to retire in 2008.”

That’s a lot of scientists hitting the hammocks in Florida. And if you’ve been reading Time you’ll know there isn’t exactly a coming wave of young American scientists taking their place at places like the CDC. Pretty glum news for the future of AIDS research etc.