Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two Games

Why won't Carl and Maria do their job?

In many cases, it is because they don't know what the job is. They are busy working on what they think the job is or should be and management may have neglected to clarify the priorities and expectations.

The blame, of course, is not solely on management's back. Carl or Maria may lack the initiative or the desire to define the job in any manner other than that which is most pleasing to them. This attitude eagerly shoos away any hints that the job entails other responsibilities.

That game may work for a while; perhaps for a long period. Their practice, however, is vulnerable to a form of poor management that may have been adopted by their manager; namely, neglect followed by termination. Many managers hate to confront and love to be read. They want Carl and Maria almost intuitvely to understand their expectations. When that does not happen, these managers suddenly and harshly lower the boom. They would rather fire a person than go through the messy process of counseling and goal-setting. Like the duke in Browning's "My Last Duchess," they choose never to stoop to mere correction.

Carl and Maria will correctly believe this to be quite unjust. What they miss, of course, is that while they were playing one game, their manager was playing another.


Tee said...

Good morning Michael, I read you often but comments aren't my thing. Just wanted to say I appreciate the good work.

Michael Wade said...


Thank you!!