Guiding Quote

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Types of Bosses: The Jilted Lover

One of the recurring themes in management literature is the need to generate loyalty in your company. However this concept is in some cases a one-way street. You are expected to be loyal but your manager isn't. This usually takes the form of you being expected to sacrifice your personal life for the good of the project, the company, but come a slight downturn in business then you are as dispensable as a face tissue.

But that is the way of business, nothing special there. The jilted lover comes into play when you decided to leave your current position for another one within the same company, or within the same group of companies. They become upset because you are leaving him, abandoning her, you are an ungrateful person.

Like a jilted lover they take revenge: They refuse to sanction your transfer, give a poor review to spike your chances, bad mouth you to the other organization. If they can't have you then nobody else will!

How do you recognize the trait? Well they either have a record of doing this sort of thing or in the case of the organization they have an unwritten rule which most of the experienced people know about. The trick is finding out.

How do you do that? You use the Observe step of the OODA loop. You listen to the office gossip; there is always some recent case that has occurred. Also you can ask some of the more experienced people who you trust about what happens if you want to move departments. Do not take on trust that because the company proclaims an open movement policy or advertises internal vacancies that all its managers and units adhere to the principle.

A young relative, a civil engineer, found that out recently when he applied for a transfer from the east to the west coast that he had inadvertently broken an unwritten rule that frowned on the transfer between group companies. The company had been bought but still viewed itself as being separate and special. The result was the transfer was blocked; he was suddenly an employee with an "attitude" issue, not a team player, and no annual bonus.

So assuming that you find out that this is the situation what now?

Well you can circumvent this behavior by not directly asking for a transfer. You get the other department head to ask for your specific skill set. Make it look like your current boss is doing everyone a favor. Youre not rejecting him; you are helping him look good in the eyes of his peers. Similarly get the other company in the group to request help in filling a position with your skills.

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