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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Longest Year: The Team Leader Saga (2)

It seemed like such a perfect idea at first --- to promote a team leader from within the team. She already knew everything about the job and was familiar to the reviewers on the team. There would be little to no learning curve.

The Boss was a little disappointed that two of her favorites on the team were not eligible, by policy, for the team leader position. She had to settle for Ellie, who was a distant third in her regard, but the only viable option. She made her "acting" team leader as a trial period.

Ellie took the job enthusiastically and immediately set about devising new processes and procedures to oversee the rest of the team. She had long been discontent with the Boss' laissez-faire management style and, empowered with new-found authority, set out immediately to shake up her previous colleagues, now subordinates. Ellie gave little thought about the "acting" before her title, as this is often a formality, and she was confident that no one else could begin to compete with her for the official title. It was merely a matter of time before her title was formalized.

Within three months, the three reviewers and one project manager separately went to the Boss to complain about Ellie's micromanaging and inefficiency. Perhaps part of the conflict originated from the uneasy among the reviewers that Ellie, who had been their equal not long ago, was suddenly bossing them around. One even told the Boss "it's me or her."

At the end of the four-month "acting" period, the Boss took the title away from Ellie, and gave it to another reviewer, Patty, with a lesser academic degree, hoping this would appease the team. It was a slap to Ellie's face, but what could she do? She tried to maintain an awkward smile on her face.

The new team leader accepted the promotion with relish, despite all her previous griping and complaining about the Boss and the job behind her back. The micromanaging on the reviewers, unfortunately, did not lift a crack. It seemed that, be it the human farmer or the pig Napoleon in charge of the animal farm, there is little difference in the animals' lives.

Alas, when the chronically powerless ones are suddenly given a bit of power, it often goes to their head and, despite years of complaining about being micromanaged and oppressed, they become worse than their oppressor. Ah, how quickly power erases the memory of having one's neck pressed in the mud. One cannot wait to jump on their former jail-mates' necks and perpetuate the cycle. Such disasters are daily occurrence in this place.


Barbara said...


不是人的缺席,而是整个流程/概念的缺席,比如中间多加一层team leader,这个老板一拍脑袋要delegate就加,殊不知这是一般公司的大忌,一是层级多妨碍工作效率和上传下达,二是成本提高,属于性价比变低,所以这个决定一般不允许一个人做,需要是几个人(比如上一级管理团队)的决定。


另外如果直接下属从10个变成2个,对于老板本人就不是一个delegate的问题了,而是一个权力分散的问题,不管这俩人能不能干(该老板将很容易被上头架空)。所以老板一般不会这么干,而且10个人在有效团队管理的范围内(一般5-15个都算合理),即使要delegate,也看不出设一层team leader的必要呀。


Jun said...



喜欢的人不能上位,一个根本不是公民,连正式雇员都不符合条件,是老板走后门打擦边球弄进来的;另一个长期住在外地telework,一个月也来不了一次,按规定不能做正式的team leader。


Barbara said...



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