Friday, February 20, 2009

Once upon a company...

There is an animal in the business world that is hard as nails, sharp as a knife, and as unforgiving as a fall from a cliff.

From a clearer perspective, however, it is hard as a brick, sharp as a broken shard of glass, and inflexible as a frozen fish.

It is the ambitious but clueless corporate leader - blind as a bat and driven like a wild boar.

The ideal candidate to fill this animal's spot would be highly educated but unconnected, limited in life experience but unlimited in giving opinions, full of theories and information, very short of knowledge and a blank in wisdom.

This candidate pays attention to one thing and one thing only - the target. He drives everyone to the target, talks about results, categorizes every other person into one of the few pigeonholes he has been theoretically taught about in management school, and cannot handle anyone who doesn't "fit".

He uses the word "manage" as a substitute to "evade" and "lie".

Everything he presents looks beautiful to him, and everything he presents looks like the last thing he presented!

He wants wonderful things but doesn't know anything about the license to make big mistakes.

If something fails, it is always somebody else's fault, because he "delegated" something he would never have been able to handle in the first place anyway!

He is intimidated by people who have very strong domain knowledge in areas where he is lacking.

He loves repetition because he has been taught to repeat things to keep the pressure on, while not realizing that some people react in the opposite way to something that is mentioned too often, like "drive carefully" signs.

Structure is more important to him than development.

When he ends up irritating someone, he switches to "managing" that person by choosing from a list of things he has been taught are "nice" things to do to people. (This list is pretty short and tends not to evolve)

Order is more important to him than improvement.

Every other person he meets is potentially useful to him in some way to get ahead with his ambition.

He prides himself on how well he can neglect his personal life while pushing his business ahead, but uses such words to describe this talent, you'd think he's doing a good thing.

He doesn't know how to have a good time, and doesn't get into that unless that good time is used to get closer to someone he needs to know better in order to get ahead with his agenda.

He can't understand why other people don't pick up the phone when he calls them on a Sunday!

He is distinctly uncreative and a really boring conversationalist.

He cannot catch a joke in the middle of a conference call.

To him, being bull headed is being professional.

He works hard but has not played in a long time.

He uses his values to judge other people.

His idols are those that have reached the "top" and are obviously powerful and successful, not the ones who have done something unique or special.

He loves micromanagement. He doesn't flinch when he says "I really need you to say these exact words to the client", even when the "exact words" sound like a B movie dialogue from the 70s!

He can't tell the difference between standard of living and quality of life.

He could just as easily be a she.

Once in a while, in the study of human beings, we are presented with a clarity that baffles, a vision that stands before us as if there is nothing else left to reveal, and we wonder what part of that we never saw before.

God bless you if you are working for this type of person.

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