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Asok says, "I worked around the clock and finished a project that would normally require ten programmers." Asok says, "Um... did I just establish a new baseline expectation that will turn my job into a tragic death march?" The Boss says, "It's time to set some stretch goals." Asok says, "STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!"
Dogbert the CEO Dogbert says, "We'll execute our strategy in the usual way." Dogbert says, "The powerful will delegate to the untalented until failure is achieved." The boss says, "How long will that take?" Dogbert says, "We just finished."
"What the...? How can you be relaxed with so much work to do?" "Your mistake is taking pride in how much work you can complete." "You see, Alice, there's an infinite quantity of potential work." "But it's only possible to do a finite amount." "You have set yourself up for certain failure according to your own arbitrary standard." "By way of contrast, I take pride in not taking pride in my work." "I've already achieved my goal and it's not even lunch time yet." "Don't you need a new goal for after lunch?" "I'm aiming for a distended stomach."
"Here are your regular goals and here are your stretch goals." "What's the difference?" "The regular goals can be achieved by sacrificing health and your personal life." "The stretch goals require all of that plus some sort of criminal conduct." "I'm guessing that your boss gave uou the regular goals and you came up with the stretch goals on your own." "That way, When I achieve the regular goals you'll get a raise because I missed the stretch goals." "Then you'll get a bouns for salaries below budget." "Maybe we should talk about the ultra-stretch goals later."
Boss: I'm reading a great management book about the rules of leadership. Dilbert: Allow me to put that in context. There are probably 10,000 books about leadership, and each one has a different approach. And there are millions of real leaders, of which no two are alike. Moreover, every situation is unique and requires a different type of leader. And yet this one author has found a magic formula to transform you from a gullible baboon into a great leader. And that makes sense because all great leaders throughout history achieved success by reading a random book. Boss: I don't like context. Dilbert: It isn't popular.
Boss: The key to leadership is setting vague goals that are a combination of jargon and wishful thinking. That way, I can keep dumping work on you without hearing you whine that it doesn't fit with your goals. You have to admit, my system is better than whatever you're doing over there. Dilbert: Yup.
Boss: You haven't achieved any of your goals for the year. What is up with that? Dilbert: Do you want an explanation that goes back to the root cause? Boss: Of course. Dilbert: The problem started years ago, when two idiots unwisely created a third smaller idiot. They compounded their mistake with bad parenting. The toddler ate candy and sniffed wet paint until he became a pointy-headed boss. The pointy-headed boss set goals for his underlings that ignored the rapidly evolving nature of the industry. Then he got angry at his most talented employee for giving an accurate answer to a question. Boss: I hate you. Dilbert: Nothing could halt the downward spiral.
Wally: We've achieved optimal meeting density. We have so many meetings that I can avoid all of them by saying I have another meeting at the same time. Man: While you're here, can you review my slide deck? Wally: I'd love to, but I have fifty slide decks ahead of you.
asok: have you ever tried meditating? wally: sounds like a lot of work. asok: it is the opposite of work. all you have to do is sit in one place and think of nothing in particular. wally: can i drink coffee at the same time. asok: that is not recommended. wally: in other words, meditating is what i already do, but without the advantage of coffee? asok: perhaps you have already achieved enlightenment. wally: feels that way to me.