Regrettably I have seen people like this in my many years in business.
To begin with, let me say that my career as an engineer, attorney, and investment banker always dealt with enormous engineering projects: power plants, hospitals, highways, and ports to name a few. In all of these, I played a major role in the projects and often was in a position to have my thoughts heard and acted upon.
And I have seen these guys too many times in my life. The suit in the corner office two floors up, who suddenly gets interested in your project and swoops down from his lofty perch to tell you what to do. He enjoys the view from 10,000 feet, but will instantly beam down on anything that he thinks is a problem with a razor sharp laser beam.
He calls a big meeting, gets the corporate version of press by letting his higher ups know that he will personally take charge. He demands meetings and instant reports. He makes “executive” decisions and prepares his report to his higher ups. After the kleig lights have been switched off and his posse of admiring sycophants has wandered off, he loses interest in your measly project and is off to his latest conquest. He is Superman and Batman all rolled into one.
There is a name for such a person. They called him a pronoid. To a pronoid, he is god-like and all of us are bit actors on his grand stage. Nothing that he does is ever wrong and everything he does is right. He is put on earth to be a god to the rest of us and we will acknowledge and be servile to his needs.
And this is exactly how Jerry Markon describes Mitt Romney’s role in the ill-fated “Big Dig”, the tunnel that was constructed through downtown Boston, Massachusetts. You can read Markon’s article in the Washington Post here.