Tuesday 22 May 2012

one leap forwards, two leaps back... will politics get me the sack?

“Have you seen the leaving message?”

One of the company’s senior managers is leaving, and as per usual, they’d put up a message about it on the company intranet. My boss was keen to know if I’d seen it. I’d heard it was happening, but I’d not seen the actual announcement, so I wheeled over to have a look:

Our future business success now depends on tightly integrated business planning and risk activity into our core Finance processes and relevant other functions. As a result and after careful consideration, [insert name here] has now decided to take the opportunity to further develop his career outside of [the company] and will be leaving the business in the summer.

[insert name here] has been with [the company] for x years and worked in a number of senior leadership roles. He has successfully led stabilisation of the [blah blah] implementation programme, driving improvements in [blah blah] to support our shops trading, strengthening how we manage operational risk through all levels of our business, managing the business planning cycle including key Executive meetings, centralising programme management capability and our crisis management process.

[insert name here] leaves [the company] with our best wishes and I am sure that you will join me in wishing him well for the future.”

As ever with these things, it’s a question of the things that they’re not saying as much as the things that they are. Reading between the lines, it appears that this guy has achieved very little of specific note and has been given a payoff and the push. I’ve worked with him actually, and that about sums it up. I like to say that no one comes into work to be deliberately obstructive, but I think that this guy might be the exception. He’s one of those people who thinks that they’re a bit of a player; a political animal… that’s fine, as long as you’re actually doing a good job, but if ALL you’re concerned about is how you look to the people above you in the food chain, then in my books you’re basically worthless and the kind of person an organisation could well do without. He’s the kind of person who will tell you one thing and then deliberately play-back a completely different story somewhere else for his own gain. I prize honesty, integrity and a basic concern and respect for the people around you: this guy had none of that.

And now he’s been caught out and moved on (albeit with a hefty payoff, I'm sure).

I read the note over my boss’s shoulder.

“Good riddance. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.”
“You don’t like him, do you? You don’t trouble to hide it much.”
“No. I don’t like him or people like him”
My boss paused for a moment and looked at me.
“If you thought I was completely incompetent, you would tell me to my face, wouldn’t you?”
I looked him in the eye. “Yes, I would.  I don't think you're incompetent....not completely.”
He shook his head. “You know what, it’s been a real pleasure managing you. It really has.”

I’m about to change jobs. Perhaps it’s for the best.

 I wonder if he’s drafting me a leaving note?

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