Sunday, September 28, 2008
I have been trying to pinpoint my client's leadership type. Stanley Bing's book, Crazy Bosses has a chapter on paranoids that seems to mostly fit the bill. M is paranoid and a bit delusional. He has told me on numerous (uncountable) occasions that he know how to best manage his department and that he does not appreciate others interfering. And he does believe that others are interfering. In the meantime he starves his headcount especially in areas he does not highly value. The M type of worker does not really question his approach but just does what he call real work.
Real work is simply working yourself into the ground trying to stay up with the constant sheaves of paperwork and demands that flood the system hourly, daily and weekly. It is almost impossible to ever catch up and have time to think about anything approaching a more efficient way of doing things. Success, if it can be called that, is measured on how much paper one has moved rather than in doing things more efficiently.
M always defaults to his real work premise if you talk to him about a more systemic way of getting something done.
In short, he has made himself an unenlightened ruler of a petty kingdom that he rules with an iron fist. He is friendly enough and accepts challenges but his strategy, ultimately is to fall back on his real work model that means more time spent at work doing more mind numbing paperwork and useless projects. In the end you get worn down and become a sort of drone. You get too tired to argue. It is easier to listen to his stream of consciousness tirade about how he it the only one who really knows how to do it right and then get out of his office and go back to your desk.
On two consecutive weekends I have thought about going in to work to get caught up but the thought of that office makes me queasy so I stay at home, don't get caught up (you never really get caught up anyway) and I just figure I will face the mess on Monday. This is not a happy place. The team is close but they cling to each other. It is the closeness of a prison camp rather than the happiness of a village. There is no art here unless it is the art of laying bricks. The rule is that of the guild not the rule of creativity and potential. The place is locked down in time and does not move forward.
This is it anyway. Either the CEO moves HR or I give notice but I to my promise am true. I will wait through Tuesday. Personally I think it will be very tough for the CEO to stand up to M. I have told him this. If it were in my hands I would have no problem telling him that HR is moving (both organizationally and physically). But I am not the CEO. So he has the terrible task of telling M that this move is immediate. He can't ask.
He has to tell.
I will fly up to the big clock tower and then aim for the second star to the right and straight on 'till morning.