"My name is Philip."
"Yes, but Dave's easier to remember. Anyway Dave...."
Outstanding and, of course, stolen for my own purposes.
Cheers and thank you for reminding me that pub-o-clock is nigh!
"... and so we thought that you might like to attend this two-day workshop in effective leadership techniques," the Boss burbles, rounding off the professional goal-setting exercise that company policy obliges him to do with me and any other contractor with a contract that's rolled over for more than five years. "Well to be …
There's also this marvelous exchange:
A: "Well, Peter - can I call you Pete? - the principle of the connected society is that all parties to the transaction have a clear understanding of their role in it and its progress towards an ultimately successful completion at which point a committed transaction can trigger an API-driven response resulting in a zero-touch high-efficiency payment execution in the cloud ..."
Q: "You can't call me Pete, because I'm David. We still haven't settled the question of legality, though."
A: "Oh, look, I'm sorry Pete, I have to be on stage in three minutes, but I'll be happy to field your question offline. I'll get my girl to reach out to our lawyers and get you in touch."
My experience is those courses require "team building exercises" where its difficult to not go into a Coma before the next you must take these three items over the river and you only have two places (They don't like the lob everything to another equally bored person over the "raging river "oddly).
Well, I always suggest killing the most hated Dave or Debbie(Slagathor if either one is really called like that), using their entrails to build a trebuchet or catapult(whatever is fancied) and then pling everything over to the other side, head to the winchester for a cold pint, and wait for this whole thing to blow over.
I remember a "team bonding" exercise in the US where we had to say which historical leader we most identified with and which living person we most admired. The Americans took it very seriously, but the UK contingent not so much ;-) Personally my answers were Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) and, since we were in the US, Fidel Castro...
The Americans did seem to suffer from a lack of a sense of humour at times like that... at least in my experience. I got an even worse reaction at a course on sexual harassment.... They also didn't like me pointing out that I only got 98% on the security questionnaire because one of their answers didn't match the answer they gave in the presentation linked to on the first page....
All this brings back memories of office cricket played during a PRINCE course.....
Personally I'd go with captain janeway. First of all, when blasted to the delta quadrant with no way home, she not only kept her crew together, she managed to unite two opposing factions who effectively wanted each other dead.
Then under her command they continued to make their way home as best they could, while taking on the freakin' borg. The borg who were able to eliminate several of starfleets most advanced ships with a single cube, and during their travels, janeway was able to take out numerous borg cubes and spheres using her single intrepid class ship.
Even better? Not only against odds does she take out a random cube here or there, but with a little help from the inside she WIPES OUT THE BORG!
The single most dangerous enemy to date, and janeway wipes them off the face of the universe. One leader, one starship, vs a collective of millions of minds, with thousands of ships each of which was more deadly than the voyager. And she wiped them out.
If anyone were an inspiring leader, it's her.
Went on once at a paintball site back in the 90's.
We were supposed to 'hole up' in these huts and protect the hostages using effective communcation.
My leadership skills were questioned when I shot the hostages* in the head and told everyone we should go outside and lay an ambush for the idiots thinking we would still be in the huts.
*mannequins were hurt during the making of this anecdote.
Heh - Former Job, We had a paintball event with Alcohol Ad Libitum. Conveniently enough the bar was next to the re-balling station too - so one would have 1-2 drinks at the bar per load expended and pretty quickly this team-building thing turned out to be OK.
The teams were supposed to "execute the strategies of our leader(s)" - however - we sort of executed our leader instead. When he rushed forward "over the top", brimming with motivation and speed from many hours of Iron-manning - he got about 200 paintballs right in his back (and quite a few more from the oppo when he turned to yell at "his" team). Honest mistake, of course.
As punishment for next year HR got involved: We got the MBTI test + "Theory", with team formation according to MBTI-properties, the solving of many riddles (which are quite transparent to people who hack code all the time) and the part where you have to describe where you noticed the different "personalities" in play. Enhanced Interrogation all the way!
There was a bar afterwards so we did a little challenge for ourselves - run through the park between the hotel and the water and do naked swimming in November. As an incentive last one in shall be known as weakling@ ....
After that "they" gave up on us and just held a regular piss-up instead (with the minimum of content required for tax-relief claiming purposes).
I favour the way-way-back-in-the-rear strategy, where accurate artillery shelling and friendly fire are just descriptions of the same thing.
Reminds me of a manager I worked for once. Perfect description.
Thanks for the memory, Simon! Now that it is a memory and not a current reality, I can laugh.
Now that I've read this excellent summary of a leadership course, I am presumably properly qualified and thus excused from going on any such courses for at least 5 years.
Now that's the kind of service I (don't) pay my Reg subscription for - pint for Mr T!
(And that's T for Travaglia, not the other much less scary one.)
The only good management course I can think of was one where somebody had discovered the size of the last contingent's bar bill & set out to better it. No beer icon because to do that needed the contents of the top shelf behind the bar.
However, there was one so bad it turned out for the best. My reaction led to me being offered early retirement the following week.
The really depressing thing is that there may will be a room chock full of keen eyed earnest types who will lap up the whole pile of c**p with joy and willing enthusiasm, expecting you to take it all seriously, to ignore the obvious flaws in the magical thinking that counts for research and God help us all, do serious role play.
But the really really depressing thing is when they come back into the workplace, full of fizzy enthusiasm and try to act on all that nonsense.
Effective leadership doesn't come from a course, the irony that the leaders they pick out as examples probably never went near a leadership course in their lifetime doesn't dawn on them. Leadership comes from natural ability not a course, you can't make someome something they're not. The best you'll get out of any managers attending these things when they return is implementation of a tidy desk policy (which I sodding hate with a passion).
...I'm afraid I can't do that.
Somehow this quote seems entirely appropriate here.
Reminds me of the time my boss went to the users group meeting in Hawaii, and offered me some silly component seminar as a consolation prize. I declined. Just a few years later I discovered he had spent some $$$ on something inappropriate which got him the axe. My BOFH career started early.
We had an exercise involving "disaster recovery".. a surprise exercise by manglement.
The phone rings, and a voice "A plane has crashed into your building. Tell us what you will do to resume operations."
Me: "Where did the plane hit?" "How big a plane?"
Them: "Middle of the building, a 737". (It should be noted that our building was next to the airport.)
Me: "Don't care. I'm dead. <click>".
10 minutes later.. <ring> "You know this is an exercise and the whole team is waiting to help?".
"I'm dead. Send in the morgue team <click>"
This went on for another half an hour before they figured out they'd picked a) the wrong scenario and b)the wrong guy to play games.
The delicate art of being dragged kicking and screaming by those you are supposed to lead in the direction you want them to go.
An extra 9999999 points (or pints - there's no o in leadership :-P) if they 'somehow' (Big Evil Grin) think it's their idea and that they talked you into it :-).
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