Monday, December 22, 2008

Revisiting Mr. Slate

Since the launch of TSB in early August, our postings each and every business day have attracted some surprising and interesting comments, that don't always get posted in the "Comments" section.

Over time, we have come to learn why this happens.

For some, it's a technology issue. Folks find it difficult to get through the g-mail gatekeeper and post their views for other TSB readers to debate and discuss.

For others, it's a matter of enjoying the postings, but preferring to stay anonymous, but if they do have thoughts to pass along, they get sent via e-mail, keeping everything under the radar.

Today, we feature the thoughts of one such reader, who we will protect as far as privacy is concerned. The story was compelling enough that we believed TSB readers would enjoy making the connections about last weeks posting that examined the image of Mr. Slate, the often vilified boss of an employee named Flintstone. (Ever notice how Slate was always at the office when Fred showed up in the morning, and how he was always there long after the horn blew at quitting time?)

Here are the unedited words of a daily TSB reader:

Just finished reading today's TSB posting, another good one with a message I am sure others would not have picked up on from the cartoon. Your timing on this subject is perfect as we are wrapping up, no pun intended, 2008 which was a challenging year only to be heading into 2009 which could be one of the toughest a lot of employees have faced in their employment history to date.

I was just having a conversation with an individual a few weeks back as he approached me on what was his perception of management within our organization. While this employee is not Fred Flintstone, he is not a clock watcher and does seem to understand the "bigger picture" I was surprised as I listened to his views on management.

Since he is one of the employees that is pegged to take on more it provided me the opportunity to have him shadow myself for the last 10 days. I had him work out of my office and take part in all conversations, meetings, phone calls, projects, you get the picture, that I was involved in. This was done not because of my position, but to allow him to see what management is responsible for within our department and company and only had him work with me because he is one of my employees and I could set it up.

It proved to be a valuable experience for him as I had him not only shadow me but work the same hours, other than what needed to get done at home. Without any prompting, as I was waiting until tomorrow to have him provide me his take on the last couple of weeks, he asked if he could close the door yesterday afternoon and proceeded to tell me that while he thought he was involved in the organization, he now saw that he was only ankle deep in what is going on. He explained that his perception was not even close to reality, other than people's perception becomes their reality, if not proven otherwise.

The real proof will come now in how he reacts to situations to see if he truly does have a better appreciation of what he now needs to focus on to make that next step in his career path. Will this exercise be the catalyst that will help propel this person's career now or will he quickly forget all that he had the opportunity to participate in, it is in his hands for him to now make happen?

Just thought I would share this with you as I saw the parallels with a few of your postings lately.

Many other TSB readers have shared similar thoughts about the connections between the Mr. Slate posting and how it connected with the "I Love My Job" videos between produced by the franchise team out of the Waterloo/Wellington area in Ontario. With an ultra-competitive 2009 approaching, it doesn't appear many organizations will have much tolerance for a "Yabba-dabba-doo" work ethic.

At least, not those who are serious about growing their business and brands while others scramble just to stay afloat.

"Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor" ULYSSES S. GRANT

p.s.... Here is "I Love My Job" - The Sequel, starring Sue Machado

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