I’d Never Lie—Would I? You’d never lie, would you? Consider this scenario. You manage a software development group which has a multi-year project. It’s been one disaster after another. The first year, the client kept changing the specs. By the time that was sorted, you were almost six weeks behind. In the second year, the programmers ran into all kinds of problems not foreseen by the (now fired) systems architect. The programming started ...

Making a Decision with Power Undercurrents at Work In the previous post, knowing that the upcoming budget meeting was going to be contentious, you prepared for it by working through how to deal with any issues which might be raised. This recognizes the undercurrent of keeping or increasing power which is underlying the decision. Just as a reminder: YOU are Galen, Alicia is your boss, and Dante and Marguerite are your peer managers. Working with u...

Managing Power Undercurrents in a Budget Meeting In a previous post, you tried to get the budget for a new project but got snookered by the others at the meeting (your boss Alicia and your peer managers, Dante and Marguerite). Is there any way you could have better the outcome of having to fund the project from your existing budget? Preparing to meet power undercurrents There is a charming, naïve and completely wrong idea that, even with importa...

Making Tough Decisions as a Boss. Part 2 of 2 You (Galen) have to re-allocate your budget to fund a new service which allows customers to design their own greeting cards. You will have to take money from the budgets of the other supervisors (Sarah and Neil), to reallocate to Mike who will head up the new service. You meet with all the supervisors to discuss how to do this. The tough discussion You: Okay, guys, Alicia doesn’t have enough to fund...

Making Tough Decisions as a Boss. Part 1 of 2 In the last post, you tried to get money for the new project only to find yourself outmaneuvered and forced to find half of it within your existing budget. That is, you must take money from your other two units to give to Mike. There are basically three options for deciding how the money will be moved. The following table gives you their pros and cons. Options Pros Cons Option 1: You decide ·    ...

Introduction to the Dark Side
/ November 7, 2017

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you`ve been blind-sided? That is, something has happened at work, often to your detriment, and you didn’t see it coming. Might be that you expect to get the promotion and it went to another guy, much less able than you. Might be that you were telling like it is and find yourself on the outs with the rest of the team. Or even find yourself going along with a group decision even though y...

Manager Stream
/ November 7, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to The Dark Side, you know that if you can’t manage these undercurrents well, your career will stall and you might even find yourself slipping back. But a manager has a dual role. You are both manager and employee It’s no news to you that in some situations you are the boss with the responsibility to lead your team and in others, you are your boss’ employee, tasked with implementing her directions...

Employee Stream
/ November 6, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to the Dark Side, you know that you need to pay attention to the undercurrents which operate in every company. The Employee Stream has two audiences: Workers who are individual contributors and do not have any one reporting to them Managers who are employees of their bosses, and are subject to the same stresses of an employee as any other. Managers have a further challenge to manage  undercurrents in ...

All about me
/ April 29, 2016

All About Me I have long been fascinated by what I call the Dark Side—the undercurrents of power, lying, groupthink, and others—which are present in all organizations but are rarely acknowledged or even recognized. I worked for many years in a large corporation and then for twenty years consulted with large corporations. In all this time, I saw where the favorite and not the best person got the promotion; where you knew enough to ke...

The Honest One
/ August 4, 2015

About This book is both a novel and essays about work life. In the novel, David is a young man intent on moving up in the company, Protech, which designs security systems. To do this, he steals an idea for a new product from a junior employee and sells it to senior management as his own. The idea takes off but David has to constantly having to do questionable things to keep his status as golden boy. He spies on another colleague for fea...