Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Great Manager should be Human

Over the years I've had my share of snakes and weasels looking for the next great score or political angle to play. They spent more time scheming, planning political tactics then actual productive work. If they devoted a fraction of this energy to productive business goals the term 'overtime' would be extinct. Speaking of extinct I've had my share of stubborn dumb-ass mules (when I say ass I'm referring to a four legged animal not human body part) who are absolutely clueless yet stubbornly argue their position why a project or idea should be implemented their way despite their way having more holes then the Titanic. This breed should have died out long ago from the corporate world; yet they've managed to proliferate and multiply like rabbits. Then of course you've got your elephants that have been there since the last ice age. They seem to know everything and everyone yet are completely unmovable if change is required because we all know times change and business models must evolve or die. But these elephants continue to run the show like its 1855 and their favorite justification why things should not change "We've always done it this way and its worked well thus far". Somehow everyone realizes business model must change but ultimately leave things status-quo because no one is willing to take down the elephant. Then of course you have your hawks who watch you with these piercing eyes from across the room micro managing your every move in the cubicle maze you call home eight hours a day. Why delegate if you're going to criticize my work and do it your way in the end, might as well do it yourself and don't waste my time. Speaking of status-quo the chameleon is best at this game. A manager that is never there especially when a tough decision must be made or physically not there; they manage to disappear leaving you on your own. Of course the other great chameleon talent is to change their color with the latest flavor of the week idea how to improve morale productivity or what have you. If someone comes up with a crazy idea they're the first to jump on it and push you like crazy only to change next week. Ultimately the disappearing chameleon gets all the credit for your hard work. Then of course you have your Lion; king of the office jungle that thinks they run the whole show or at least act like they do. The lion will devour and eliminate all to ensure their place on top of the office food chain remains in tact. They will motivate weasels and snakes under their control to enact sabotage and ensure projects and ideas they don't approve fail. They recruit hawks from other departments to be their eyes and ears to ensure their own agenda moves ahead with little thought for what is best for the company. Then of course there is us; the lonely tiny ant tirelessly working at all hours including weekends if necessary never recognized, for its efforts in keeping the office jungle clean. Simply stepped on or brushed aside for convenience. The corporate world is a jungle and if I could wish for a great boss I'd want them to be simply human.