I recently visited a client in a multi-national, and whilst I was waiting in reception I read the company staff magazine. You know the type of thing; a glossy publication full of pictures of hardworking folks all over the world, doing good things for the organisation and the various charities they support.
I was reminded of a company I used to work for. We used to have a monthly staff magazine, but for us in the Information Systems department it was a source of irritation.
Our boss was one of those guys who was never there when WE needed him (for decisions, guidance, help, management and leadership), but who always knew when the staff magazine photographer was coming round.
Guess who was always at the front of every photo about our department....
He made very little contribution to our efforts to develop management information systems for our company, but he wanted to make sure that the rest of the company knew that HE was ‘responsible’. He waited until the hard dirty work was done, and then got his name and photo on the front page.
We despised this guy. We had no respect for him, and nobody was prepared to go the extra step for him (except the usual creeps, whom we can discount). This boss destroyed the delicate relationship between boss and team members by stealing our glory.
In 1990 Germany won the World Cup (that’s football....), with Franz Beckenbauer as the team coach. When the final whistle went the players in the victorious German team went nuts – quite justifiably. The subs and the physios ran on the field as well, to join in the huge emotional joy at winning the world championship. Franz Beckenbauer, the architect of the triumph, walked quietly back into the tunnel, out of sight.
This is a real leader; he let his team have the glory.
Of course, he was completely safe. After a few minutes, when the players calmed down a little, they started the cry ‘Where is Franz?’
They dragged him (most reluctantly) onto the pitch, so that they could share with him their wonderful moment. Everyone in the world knew that Beckenbauer was the man behind the victory, but he did not want to steal the glory that was due to his team members.
I know which type of boss I would prefer to work for.
©Mike Watson 2015