This book can be purchased at http://ijgbooks.com/weeding.html
Today lets take a look at Chapter 2 “Average Leadership”.
This chapter is about leadership and some of the strange things that companies do to develop their leaders. Lets start with a quote.
On page 37 Ibrahim writes:
“It is true, average people tend to be well rounded. What the sports world and academia realized long ago is catching up with Industry.”
Then a few lines later:
“While being well rounded was once a key thrust in people development at a large organization, it has been more recently noticed that this should not happen at the expense of individuals losing their competitive strengths and understanding of how those can be applied to an organization.”
Ibrahim goes on to talk about how large organizations tend to have programs in place to “round out” the skills of the people that they are grooming for leadership roles. When I joined Mitel in 1981, the company was in a semi-controlled chaotic state. There was no talk of programs to groom leaders, just allot of kids like me waiting for the next data book. Every new chip meant thousands of new possibilities and all we wanted to do was build things.
I guess my career has always been focused on knowing as much about everything as humanly possible. I tended to ignore people who want me slotted into a hole and have managed to acquire 30+ years of general knowledge. I always wanted to be rounded because my subconscious was whispering that it was the safest and most productive path to follow. I have found myself in leadership roles from time to time, but the voice keeps saying that abandoning base skills for management is a dangerous thing.
Ibrahim spends some time explaining the pros and cons of leadership programs, but I will leave those for you to read. If you are in a large organization, you may find these insights useful. I found that they did not apply to me.
Ibrahim sums up this chapter with:
“So if you are asked to do something to which you will clearly not contribute value, you are working for a wanker or you have become one yourself.
If someone is in a new role for more than a year with no measurable contribution, this is a warning sign that they may well be a wanker.
If your leader’s contribution is a new process that does not help things, he or she is a wanker.
And if you are asked to play a different role, be truthful to yourself, or risk becoming a wanker.”
And so ends chapter two.
I have been asked to do things where my contribution would be much less that what I was currently doing. In these cases, part of the problem was created by me. When you work quietly with your head down and don’t advertise your accomplishments or allow others to take credit for your accomplishments, you are easy prey for wankers.
I would even go so far as to suggest to you that when those wankers think that your continued contributions might expose their actions, they might try to influence people in high places to move you to a place where your contribution is diminished. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, and it probably is, so lets just be cautious and watch out for wankers. How can we be cautious? That is a question for another day…[grin]