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Wally: I don't know if I should focus on my strengths or strengthen my weaknesses. Or should I have a bias for action and not waste time sharpening any of my skills? Boss: Which path gets you to do actual work? Wally: I sense a coldness to your mentoring.
Dogbert the public relations consultant Dogbert says, "So you accidentally destroyed the Statue of Liberty?" Dogbert says, "Her head is floating toward Cuba, and the president will probably order the air force to sink it." CEO says, "I should watch that from my private jet." Dogbert says, "FOCUS!"
Vijay, the world's worst venture capitalist Dilbert says, "A hundred million people need this type of service." Dilbert says, "I already built the website and people are signing up." Foop! $ Vijay says, "When we negotiate my equity stake, focus on my poker face and not my optimistic hair." Yeeha!!!
Dogbert consultant Dogbert says, "I've been hired to identify the most important goals of your organization." Dilbert says, "how will you do that?" Dogbert says, "I'll ask you what they are, and you'll tell me." Dogbert says, "Then I'll put your answers on a PowerPoint slide." Dogbert says, "Next week I'll show you the slide and tell you to focus on your most important goals." Dogbert says, "Then I'll get paid. Because that's MY most important goal." Dogbert says, "WOO-HOO! CHA-CHING! CHA-CHING! CHA-CHING!" Dogbert says, "I lead by example."
Dilbert says, "Would it be okay if I talked to a potential customer?" The Boss says, "No. You're not in sales. I need you to focus on your project." Dilbert says, "I already talked to them. Is it okay if I arrange a demo?" The Boss says, "No. Only the sales teams arrange demos." Dilbert says, "I already gave the demo." Dilbert says, "Is it okay if I convince them to buy $40 million of our product?" The Boss says, "No, because you won't succeed." Dilbert says, "Here's their letter of intent." The Boss says, "You shouldn't slap yourself now." Dilbert says, "Yes I... wait. Nice try."
The boss says, "We're changing the name of our staffing group to 'Talent acquisition.'" the boss says, "This reflects our new focus on hiring only highly talented people." Dilbert says, "Doesn't that imply that your current employees are inferior to the ones you plan to hire?" The boss says , "Sort of." Dilbert says, "And since you routinely fire the worst performing employees..." Dilbert says, "you have just sealer our doom while expecting us to remain loyal to the company." Wally says, "now all I can thin k about are ways to vandalize the servers before I become homeless." The boss says, "I over-communicated again."
The Boss says, "Wally, did you finish the vendor comparison?" Wally says, "I'm proud to say I did not." Wally says, "You told me to focus on my highest priorities, and that wasn't one of them." The Boss says, "So? when can I expect it?" Wally says, "Logically, that would be never." Wally says, "If that task ever became the most important thing I was doing, you'd eliminate my position." The Boss says, "True. But at least you're getting the high priority stuff done, right?" Wally says, "So far, it's taking all of my energy to avoid doing the low priorities."
"The Weekly Wally Report is bristling with tales of success." "I gave worthless input to marketing because they weren't specific about what they wanted." "I missed Alice's project meeting because she never confirmed the location." "I gave harmful advice to the sales team because they rushed me." "I ignored my email for a week because you said to focus on priorities." "And I didn't submit my budget estimates because Asok never told me what format to ues." "How can you call any of that success??!!" "Well, I'd compare it to my written objectives, but you never gave me any."
The Boss addresses a meeting, "Our company is dying.. but not because of bad management." The Boss continues, "It's because we're not.." He points to a slide that says, "Customer centric." Wally raises his hand and says, "Well, I for one feel better knowing we have correctly identified the problem." Wally turns to Dilbert and says, "That was a little thing I call participation; you should try it." The Boss says, "Now let's break into four small working groups." The Boss continues, "And develop skits based on our new focus of customer centricity." Dilbert says, "Um.. there are only four of us." He pauses and then says, "Wait.. nevermind." The Boss sits at the conference table alone and thinks, "I'll call my skit 'The Electricity of Customer Centricity."