Search This Blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Longest Year: The Team Leader Saga (1)

Once upon a time there was a boss lady. Boss Lady was on the brink of 60, but she always kept her auburn hair impeccably dyed and looked ... uh ... about 56.

Nevertheless, mentally she was as swift and sharp as ever, wielding both the power of her position and her irresistible feminine charm. From time to time she turned it on to persuade and convince one of the gray-haired, pot-bellied, grumpy old men who held a bit more power than she through no merit of their own. Perhaps underneath the flirtatious smile and the girlie, nasal, slightly whiny voice hid a boiling contempt for these old white men who struggled to shift their oversized butts in their thrones while muttering something inaudible among themselves.

Boss enjoyed the not-insubstantial power assigned to her own little throne, plus a bit more she could squeeze out of the nearby departments if she really pushed --- but that little extra must be used judiciously. She had about 10 FTEs that were fully under her control. If she said "jump," they'd all reply "How high?" Seeing that never failed to bring a warm comfort to her heart.

The 10 or so FTEs had been more or less of equal footing for a few years, until Boss Lady was getting tired of all the boring administrative stuff. "I am working way too hard," she thought to herself. Just then she took a leadership training course, one of an endless buffet of training classes offered to managers in this massive organization. The leadership instructor, a 6-foot-2, bull-like woman who could belt a scream to shake the entire building, told them that one of the desirable qualities of a leader is to delegate.

A light bulb came on in Boss Lady's head. "I shall delegate," she thought. So she set off to create two team leader positions under her who could rule over the minions, thus freeing her up to spend more time working on more important projects ... at home, or, on Fridays, at her beach house.

It was a walk in the park to get her own boss to approve the creation of these two team leader positions. He never could resist her twinkling eyes and girlie, whiny, pleading voice that melted his bones.

She advertised within the organization. Some resumes and letters were submitted. She looked at most of them with disdain --- after a few years in this "iron rice bowl," no one can write a minimally presentable resume any more. Typographical errors, ugly formats, jumbled structure, incomprehensible sentences, obviously inflated qualifications ... The sloppiness was appalling. She interviewed half a dozen. One or two stood as being particularly sharp. Too sharp, in fact. More letters after their names than her own. More confidence. Younger. Ugh. She was certain these wolves would shove her aside and take over her carefully cultivated pasture as soon as they set foot on it. No way. She dismissed them quickly.

A couple of months later, the talent search went nowhere, and she was getting increasingly irritated by her subordinates' endless demands for her technical decisions, administrative support, and passing complaints to the upper management. Oh, such tedium. She needed two team leaders as soon as possible to block these pettiness from her ears. "I'm too old for this nonsense," she thought. "Delegate."

So she decided to promote from within.

No comments:

Petyr Baelish of Sichuan: Echoes of the 3 Kingdoms

Sometimes my mind makes unexpected associations. A few days ago I was talking to a couple of friends, who are of Sichuan (or Szechuan) ances...

Popular Posts