Friday, January 13, 2012

Learning from Examples

If you work in a fairly large organization, you are surrounded by individuals who, while serving as good or bad examples, can teach a great deal. I can recall a few from my career:

The executive who did immaculate but tardy work which arrived so late that it was worthless. The manager who hid from his staff. The director who practically lived in the field and knew almost everything that took place in his geographically scattered department. The executive who believed that loyalty went only in one direction: his. The manager who looked the part but was in way over his head. The turn-around artist who routinely told higher-ups that they were idiots and was loved for it. The director who kissed up and kicked down. The executive who combined strength with extraordinary kindness. The amiable frauds. The cut-throats. The ones who retired on the job. The people who once were insightful and creative and then, at some point, only went through the motions. The professional who spoke rarely but always very wisely. The staff officer who lived for his hobbies. The curmudgeon. And a great many who existed somewhere in-between.

Each was a lesson learned.


John said...

So how's your tongue? I'm sure you had to have bitten it repeatedly.
Your list prompted in my memory a kaleidoscope of examples echoing almost every one. As you said, even a poor example teaches a lesson -- of what to avoid.

For some reason this recent link came to mind...

Michael Wade said...


Thanks for the link and you're right, I learned to bite my tongue and keep an expressionless face.