I was dreading this moment. Since I didn’t turn up in the office over a week ago I had no contact with my direct boss.
He also happens to be one of the major shareholders of the firm. He is not the type of guy you would associate easily with empathy, emotions or support.
Occasionally I would describe him as a heartless asshole and in my eyes, he is definitely not a leader, in the very sense of the word. He is not able to give praise or acknowledge the achievements of his people. In fact most days he walks into the office, he won’t even say good morning or hi.
Anyway, this is not about him. I can’t change him. He is who he is.
I am where I am.
And that’s in an employed executive position that is expected to drive revenues and results for our firm and our clients.
We are the big guys, the guys who tell others how to run their own businesses.
We are the untouchable, we are the kings of business, strategy and performance. We studied at Ivy League unis and call MBAs and PhDs entry-level requirements.
We wear expensive suits and travel business class. We are confident beyond your imagination. We don’t make mistakes. We perform 24×7 and are available for our clients any time, even if that means the kids have to stay in aftercare for the rest of the day or spend the whole weekend with the grandparents because daddy and mummy have a deadline the following Monday.
We’d sell that very grandparent to the highest bidder if we can get large a contract >$10million. Easily. Probably less.
We are the people you see having a romantic dinner with our partners once in a blue moon just to stare at the smartphone checking our emails. You hear us
Except it isn’t.
Because I started crying, I sobbed, I had a breakdown, I cried like a baby cries when it has pain or is hungry.
Imagine what that does to the image of a high flying executive director in the eyes of his boss.
That’s what I was not looking forward to this morning.
The conversation started with him saying: “Welcome back, I hope you feel ok?” Well, that was a start at least.
He went on to give me his view on why people have breakdowns and what one should do and that it is unfortunate that this happened to me. Shit happens.
Not sure what else I expected but of course phrases such as: “we are a commercial organisation…”, “have a look at how this develops…”, “no pressure but please understand you are quite expensive…”, “talk to HR and maybe take some time off…” were built into the conversation.
Well, I’ll be sure to talk t HR and have to admit I expected worse. There were a few minutes where I felt he was genuinely concerned. Maybe.
As I said this is my game, not his, so I am positive today.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”