A blog in pink font.

Month: July, 2013

Playing by the rules

When I was a kid I read a lot of John Grisham novels. First I read “The Firm”. After “The Firm” I read “A Time to Kill”. It was then when I knew I wanted to become a lawyer. I was fascinated by the fact that each lawyer would present the alleged circumstances differently in the interest of their client. The truth was hardly ever evident and clear. It consisted of two sides and both made sense.

By the age of 20 I went to uni to study law. After 4 semesters I took the first round of exams. I barely passed. A couple of semesters later I took the final exams. I scored below the required points. I had to take the exams a second time. It was my last chance. Failing again would result in having no law degree after all. Again I barely passed. I finally obtained my law degree.

In order to practise law you need to be admitted to the bar. To be admitted to the bar you need to take the bar exam. To be admitted to the bar exam requires having worked as a trainee at a law firm or a court. That was the next challenge I was facing.

Law firms and courts would only be hiring graduates that scored good marks. If you didn’t score good marks you would need connections to get a job. If you had neither the chances of getting hired as a trainee were pretty small. On paper my marks labelled me as stupid because they were not good at all. Nevertheless I applied for several trainee positions during a period of 12 months.

After 12 months I gave up the idea of becoming a lawyer and started looking for other available options. Eventually I landed a job in a company through a friend of mine who was working there. The job was in the compliance department. After 3 years I left the company because I wanted to do something else.

Looking back made me realise that playing by the rules is a nice trait. But it doesn’t really get you far. If I had to start over again I would forge my certificate. Then I’d apply for a job as a trainee. Then I would make sure I’d be doing a hell of a job. After a while I would reveal that I did forge my certificate just to get in. Just to point out that bad marks don’t mean you’re stupid. Because if you were stupid how could you objectively explain that connections eliminate stupidity? And how is it possible that you can do a good job although your marks state you are stupid?

The rules become obsolete by an exception that is not linked to the rules in any way.  The same length is being measured by using two entirely different tapes.

So why shouldn’t I come up with a third tape I created?

Dear Employees

Below a template you can use to step in and demonstrate true leadership. 

Dear Employees

We are facing very difficult times. Over the last couple of years the global economy has been going crazy. So has my wife. I bought her a Chihuahua and she drowned it in the whirlpool.

Regardless of the challenging environment we have several reasons to be proud of. Our commitment to excellence, our outstanding performance and our eager ambitions demonstrate that we add value every single day. We accomplish this by holding conference calls, sitting in meetings, using the CC field in emails excessively and doing many other important things. This is what brings our [INSERT ORGANISATION] from Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q5 to Q6 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 to Q1 to Q2 to Q3 to Q4 etc.

I want to spank thank each and every one of you for your vigorous contributions. I am very proud and excited to be part of this great, galactic [INSERT ORGANISATION] where only the best of the best work from across all over the universe.

Nevertheless we need to be vigilant. My board of advisors and my mistress whispered this in my ear while I was taking a nap at my desk.

What does that mean for you as a proud employee of this truly great and unique [INSERT ORGANISATION]? We must remain resilient and ambitious because more difficult economic times are ahead of us. The times will start on Tuesday, July 30 between 9.15 and 9.27 a.m. The times will be so difficult that the term “difficult” will no longer be sufficient and needs to be replaced with a new adjective that doesn’t exist yet. In the interim we shall refer to these upcoming difficult times as the times that will be more difficult (TTTWBMD).

Let me give you a brief outlook on the two major changes we will be conducting in order to manoeuvre through TTTWBMD successfully:

1. Sustainable Heroic Integrated Temporary Excellence (SHITE)

We need to maximise our capabilities as one [INSERT ORGANISATION]. For this purpose I have launched across all business units a global initiative: The Sustainable Heroic Integrated Temporary Excellence (SHITE). The SHITE will ensure that our sound strategies can be executed with success beyond success by embedding it in our existing processes. This will result in better optimised processes and help us find the adjective we need in order to replace TTTWBMD and position us as the market leader.

2. Change in email signature

We need to continue to be focused and ambitious as we have been in the past. One culture, one vision, one reason, one meal, one soap, one rubber band, one song, one plant. One of everything so that we can be united as a whole. One is what we are.
Therefore your email signature will be enhanced with the word “one” after your name. This demonstrates the appreciation of  each and every one of us as individuals and also brings us together as one big one.

Again I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for the continued efforts you make on a daily basis.

The future of our [INSERT ORGANISATION] is very exciting and you can be proud to be part of it.

Best regards


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