Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Fortune Cookie Game

Anytime you open a fortune cookie the game has you add the words "in bed" to the end of the fortune or proverb. For example, if the fortune says "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", you add the two-word phrase to the end to get "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step in bed." For procrastinators and the no-excuses chronic malingerers, this is good news. Recently, one of my daughters created a new game. Anytime you do something silly or immature, you can justify it with "...because I'm 12" even when you're in your twenties or beyond. It helps to sell the idea if you're a beautiful young lady. She did when she asked for whip cream on her hot chocolate from a Starbucks store. "Yes, I'd like whip cream...[and then turning to us, she added with a mischievous grin] because I'm 12." This catchphrase gave a pass to anyone for the next few days who didn't quite live up to adult standards.

I'm proposing this game for any business leader who needs to explain some strange behavior. It can work if you're giving a news conference, get ambushed by "60 Minutes" or you're simply put on the spot by an employee during a company meeting.

"Yes, I called in sick that day and yes, you did see me on the news playing golf in a local golf tournament...because I'm 12."

"Yes, I received a million dollar bonus just after laying off hundreds of employees before Christmas...because I'm 12."

"Yes, I ignored the sexual harassment charges laid against my VP (or defensive coordinator)...because I'm 12."

"I've never heard of those women, never met those women and never touched those women who claim I did...because I'm 12."

"Even though the company stock has lost 30% of its value, my pay was raised by the board 20% this past year...because I'm 12."

When you're twelve years-old, you're not considered really responsible for your actions. You haven't come into the Age of Accountability. The game works because too many business leaders don't act like they've grown up yet.

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