Zero Fail by Carol Leonnig

Amazon link: Zero Fail

I found this a compelling book that details serious mistakes in Secret Service management and culture. In many ways the failures of described are human failures of the “I haven’t had a day off in weeks, why not go out to the bar? Why not bring a person I’m attracted to back to my hotel room?” It’s a compelling rationale, if you skip the details like “Need to be on duty tomorrow” or “My hotel room has sensitive information that would be really really useful for any wannabe assassins.”

Details matter.

The book reminded me of software teams I have known, and not just in the “We work hard and you can’t tell us how to change.” Like in tech, doing your job as an agent well doesn’t mean you’ll be a good manager. 

We are shown early in the book that consequences happen – if your misdeeds make the news. Everyone else gets a free pass. And, like many cultures, reformers are fighting both inertia AND specific sabotage from within. There aren’t easy answers, but it’s a good look at a problem culture with some amazing stories.

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