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Boss: You've set several world records for best employee job performance. But I can't give you a raise because you used job performance enhancing drugs. Dilbert: You injected me against my will. Boss: It would be leadership if you wanted to do it.
Boss: Experts say managers should hire great people and set clear expectations. They don't say what to do when you get the first part wrong, but I'm leaning toward micromanaging. Alice: My employee engagement just went down. Boss: That was never a real thing.
Boss: Great leaders set high standards and stay out of the way. So... I want you to build a fusion-powered robot that can run faster than the speed of light! While you're doing that, I'll be staying out of your way. You won't see or hear from me. I won't even respond to email. Dilbert: Is there a budget for this impossible project? Boss: Sheesh! Look who needs to be micromanaged! Now I can't go hide. You've ruined my leadership! Boss: It's hard to be a great leader when all of my followers are so needy.
Boss: For some reason, your written goals for last year were "Drink lots of coffee" and "Disrespect authority." Wally: Maybe next year your goal should be something about reading my goals before you sign them. Accomplishing stuff feels good. You should try it.
Dilbert: I'm happy to report that I achieved every goal you set for me last year. Boss: But you failed to achieve the secret goals I set for you. Dilbert: Why would you have secret goals for me?!! Boss: For this exact situation.
CEO: Our goal is to ship a million units this quarter. Dilbert: Do we have any goals that involve making customers happy? CEO: I'm talking about our goals, not their goals. Boss: Totally different.
Dilbert: Can you show me how to set up temporary credentials for our web services? Alice: Only if you are prepared for your ritual shaming. Dilbert: Yes, always. Alice: Okay, here it goes. What kind of engineer doesn't know how to set up temporary credentials? Ha ha ha ha! I will tell this story for years! Hey, everyone! Guess what Dilbert doesn't know! That should be enough to poison your well of credibility. Dilbert: This isn't a healthy place. Alice: Then why do I feel so alive?
Catbert: Evil Director of Human Resources Catbert: We're jumping on the fad of giving employees unlimited vacation days. The only gating factor will be the knowledge that taking any time off whatsoever will torpedo your career. Alice: So... now our vacations will be a source of stress? Catbert: Only as much as you want. It's totally up to you.
Dilbert: My motivation is low today. I understand it's your job to fix that situation. An insincere attaboy or a fake interest in my life would be enough. Boss: Drop dead and let the flies eat you. Dilbert: I set the bar too high again.
Boss: Our lawyer sent over a sixty-page contract renewal that I need you to review. Make sure you compare it to the original contract and all six or seven amendments. Dilbert: Are there six or... seven? Boss: No one really knows. Check out our other nine hundred contracts to make sure this one doesn't violate any of those. Keep in mind our five-year strategic plan and all likely changes to tax law. Then get buy-in from the seventeen managers who hate my guts and will take it out on you. By tomorrow. Good leaders set high standards.