Ron Huberman: Daley's Next Great Hope
Thirty-three year-old Ron Huberman, Mayor Richard M. Daley's new chief of staff, is a phenom. At least that's what everyone who interviews him seems to think. A softball profile in the Chicago Tribune today positively gushes over the Israeli immigrant with a U of C MBA. But so did a story in last month's Wired Magazine reviewing the spycam network Huberman developed for the Chicago Police.
And Wired even gets him dropping the f-bomb.
Without a doubt, Huberman's got impressive credentials: Immigrant family making good in the US, UW-Madison college degree, first job out of college working as a Chicago cop on the beat, then University of Chicago night school to get a dual masters' degree in business and social service administration. Then Police Superintendent Terry Hillard noticed him, and let Huberman help build one of the most modern police technology systems in the country.
And judging from some of the previous comments on Chicagoist, he isn't all that bad looking either.
Still though, putting together an impressive new technology for police and herding the political cats of City Hall are two very different skills. It's the difference between being an engineer and a manager. One requires an exacting, precise approach, another requires a looser, flexible attitude. Some people find that change impossible to make, holding up their career advancement forever. But for most, the opportunity to learn the difference between technical certainty and managerial flexibility comes without a media spotlight, and fewer people looking for failure.
Huberman has the unfortunate challenge of not only the media and the rest of City Hall watching his every step, but also a boss who tends to treat chiefs of staff the way Henry VIII treated wives. Yet Anne Boleyn at least had the 50-50 odds of producing a son. Huberman has to produce meaningful City Hall reform that doesn't point out any of the Mayor's faults. What do you suppose the odds are on that?
Image via Wired Magazine.