Monday, February 5, 2007

Stevie Joe's Guide to Success in Middle Management

Corporate America is beset by millions of middle managers who have no known skills other than a working knowledge of PowerPoint. Their primary mission is to present information to their superiors in short, easy-to-understand bullet points. Whether they can successfully manage a business is irrelevant. If the business is failing, all they need is an action plan made up of three or four bullet points on a colorful overhead slide. These points need not be in the form of complete sentences.

This is accepted by their superiors because they are looking for bullet points for their own presentations. It doesn't matter whether the action plan is ever implemented or successful. Constant reorganization of management means that nobody is ever held accountable for failure. By the time a business goes completely down the tubes, the manager responsible is three assignments down the road and safe from blame.

I've seen the PowerPoint phenomenon in action and up close. When I worked at the large multi-national corporation, I watched one particular fellow move from manager of a small division to CEO of the entire corporation despite the fact that he never, not once, managed a profitable business. In fact, he was really quite dumb. However, he was a whiz at bullet point presentations, and that's what he was judged by.

Of course, someone smart, like Stevie Joe, is unwelcome. Smart people have the unfortunate habit of pointing out when someone is full of crap. In Corporate America, this makes for a short career.

In retrospect, I'm actually fortunate. I was smart then but smarter now - smart enough to recognize the joy of hanging out here in quiet old Junebug Holler with my pals. Plus, the internet now allows me to make the world a better place while sitting in my underwear. Can't do that at the MNC!

Don't even ask me about MBAs,
Stevie Joe Parker

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