Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Kings

I'm a bad-ass mother intent on growing my business empire. I earned this position through hard-work and never letting anyone get in my way. My business has been growing and the stockholders love me.

Jim is just a warehouse guy. He smiles a lot and drives a forklift. He does good work but he's not trying to be a supervisor or manager or anything. I don't understand him. But everyone loves him.

I invest in better factories. My office is appointed in the latest furnishings. I want everyone to know how good I am. The outside is immaculate. The customers take a look at my business operations and want to do business with us. I don't let them get away with anything though. I make sure the contract language is always in my favor. They get what they need, not always what they want.

Jim knows a lot of people and encourages them. He compliments them on their good work and is appreciative when they help him. He's also helping them. He interacts with everyone and knows a lot about how the business works. Because he's eager to learn and cares, he asks about frustrations that people have. They tell him. He asks more questions. Sometimes they figure out their own answers from his questions. Sometimes he suggests that Sally talks to Ralph because Ralph might know about the situation and can help her. Sometimes he knows the answer because he's learned a lot.

 I don't like that. People are going to him. Hardly anyone comes to me for help. So I make sure I retain all the decision-making power. Sometimes I see people working together on a project. I hate it. They'll know more than me. I won't let people form task forces or ad hoc committees. I won't let them collaborate. I make them compete and plead for a bigger budget.

I've overheard that Jim will bring materials to people's offices when they need to research something. I caught him saying, "I was thinking about your problem last night and I found some things on the internet. Can I share what I found with you?" Really irritating is when I hear people tell others to talk to Jim because he might be able to help.

When his review is forwarded to me, I find ways to debase his rating. He doesn't follow the rules. Well, he hasn't broken any real rules; he's just not playing the game the way I want it played--cut-throat and dog-eat-dog. We used to have other people like Jim, but they left after a while.

I'm still king of the hill.

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