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The Boss says, "A successful transformation requires employees to feel ownership for the change." Alice says, "Change? What change?" Dilbert says, "Is there something we don't know?" The Boss says, "It's important that everyone has clear roles and responsibilities." Alice says, "What are you trying to tell us? Should we stop working on our projects?" The Boss says, "I'll keep you engaged and energized with my clear communication." The Boss says, "And as your leader, I will role-model the desired change." Alice says, "If he's our role model, I guess we need to act like morons who can't communicate." The Boss thinks, "I need new people." FUH FUH FUH FUH FUH FUH
"Your project came in 10% over budget." "Actually, it came in at exactly what I estimated." "You cut my budget by 10% because you wanted to feel like a leader." "I assume you'll give me a huge raise to reward my excellent estimating ability." "Why can't you be like Wally? His project budget was $10,000,000 and he only spent $147." "If you're so smart, explain that!" "That's hard to explain without using the phrase 'You gullible toad.'" "I'm next. What kind of mood is he in?" "Not so good."
"Today I will teach you how to use your incompetence to achieve your goals." "Step 1: Be incompetent. (Also known as 'the easy part.')" "Step 2: Volunteer for the most difficult and important projects" "Step 3: Convince your boss that an enemy within the company is slowing you down." "Step 4: Insist that competent people be pulled off of other projects to help you." "Step 5: Declare yourself the leader of the competent people" "Step 6: Claim credit for the work of the competent people." "Step 7: After you get promoted, fire the competent people to eliminate witnesses."
"This budget would only work if the project encountered no problems whatsoever." "So?" "All projects have unexpected problems. Therefore, this budget is almost certainly wrong." "Leaders do not plan for failure." "Do leaders make deceptive forecasts and later act shocked when things don't work out?" "No." "A leader first makes himself believe the lie, thus turning deception into an inspiring form of optimism. Observe." "GAAA!!! BELIEVE! BELIEVE!" "The swelling will go down in a few hours. Then we'll have a perfect budget." "What?"
CEO: I'm reading a book about what it takes to be a great leader. Do you know what Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Gandhi, and Ryan Seacrest have in common? Dilbert: None of them read this book. CEO: And they are carbon-based life-forms.
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: 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.
Alice: Did you read the article I forwarded about the ten things every leader should be doing? I defended your honor by writing a blog post saying you don't do any of those things and you still get paid. Boss: Why doesn't this feel supportive? Alice: That's one of life's little mysteries.
Boss: You didn't show leadership on your project. Dilbert: Are you saying I didn't do things in a smart way? Boss: Leading is different from acting in the smartest way. Dilbert: So... either I can do things the smart way or I can be a leader like you? Boss: Stop twisting things around! You need to be smart and you need to show leadership! You can't expect your team to do what you want just because it's the smartest path. Dilbert: Remind me which one of us hired those idiots.
Wally: Did you get the link I sent about the ten things all leaders need to do? I also sent you an article about the nine habits of successful people. And I sent you an article about the time management tricks used by successful people. According ti my research. There are 17,429 tricks you need to master to be a good leader. That might seem like a lot. But if you master ten per year, you'll be 1.2% competent by the time you retire. Boss: Why are we having this conversation? Wally: Im going to add "Listening skills" to the list.