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http://biz.163.com 2005-11-23 11:03:54 来源: 英国《金融时报》中文网  网友评论 0 条


  2005年11月23日 星期三


  Play your cards right while a new leader reshuffles his pack


  Two and a half weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk on a perfectly ordinary Thursday morning when I learnt that the man who had edited the Financial Times for the past four years was editor no more. Instead, another FT journalist was to take his place in the corner office, effective immediately.


  Little dramas of this sort have become commonplace in modern corporations. Old guy exits swiftly and unexpectedly stage left, new guy enters stage right. Office life blips and shudders for a couple of months and then stability returns.


  What interests me is what occurs during the blip and shudder.


  There are any number of books and courses teaching new bosses how to behave during this difficult period of the first 100 days. But what about the rest of us? I have yet to see a worm‘s eye version. How should we underlings comport ourselves when the person we report to has changed without warning?


  Organisations are odd places when this happens. There is a certain thinness in the air that I am not sure if I love or I hate. It is like being on a roller coaster in free fall from the top, and everyone is screaming – some in fear and some in exhilaration.


  During this time all bets are off. Those who were favoured by the old guard are vulnerable. Those who weren‘t have a chance to reinvent themselves.


  If the new guy is an internal appointment (as ours is), other shifts take place. The boss‘s secretary suddenly finds she has never been so popular in her life, as people try to find out what she knows or seek to curry favour. Those who have worked closely with the new guy in the past are much sought after for their views. They may also start anxiously sifting though their past for details of any run-ins with him, praying his memory isn’t too long. (As it happens, I joined on the same day as the new editor some 20 years ago but, as we have never worked together, my anecdotes have been sadly unrevealing.)


  Whether the new man comes from the outside or not, he will inevitably announce on his first day that his job is to listen. It is practically illegal for new bosses not to say this, and underlings are presumably meant to be pleased at the idea that the new leader is “inclusive”。


  This listening thing is all very sticky from our point of view. If the new chap is really listening, then I suppose we should be doing the talking. But what should we be saying?


  It is tempting to take the invitation to talk at face value and hold forth with a whole series of home truths. This would be most unwise. Instead, the trick is to say as little as possible: in the early days it is far too risky to commit oneself by saying anything much at all.


  There is a skill to managing one‘s boss and it is impossible to do it well if you don’t know what sort of person you are dealing with. Until you have mastered the basics of the new chief‘s personality and have some notion of what sort of things he likes, it is better to keep the lip firmly zipped.

  与此同时,员工可以采用五种不同方法,度过这动荡不定期。这五种方法分别如下:In the interim there are five different approaches that employees can take to get them through the turbulent period. These are as follows:


  ■Monster brown-nosing. This is a time-honoured strategy, a default position for many ambitious souls. However, blatant brown-nosing makes you repulsive to your colleagues and the new boss may not like the sight either. So unless you can make it look natural and graceful (and this is a very rare skill) you might be better advised to back off.


  Those who are dead-set on trying to make themselves agreeable should try to look inspired when they are in the presence of the new guy. Most bosses like to think they are inspirational leaders and are likely to be charmed if their employees seem to reflect that.


  ■Playing the wise old owl. This is the tactic of choice for more experienced and less ambitious workers who have seen it all before. It involves sitting back and making annoyingly knowing remarks at every stage. Although the approach is morally superior to the brown-nosing one, it isn‘t going to advance the career much.


  ■Planning your exit route. This is recommended for those who have been so intimately associated with the old guard that they don‘t want to be reborn as part of the new one. The dilemma here is whether you jump or wait to be pushed. An early call to the headhunters is a good idea before investigating the likely size of the redundancy cheque.


  ■Becoming a full-time gossip. For short-term thrills this is definitely the best way ahead. In that heady period between the appointment of the new guy and the selection of the new team there is no such thing as a rumour too silly to be listened to. Tea lady for managing director suddenly becomes a plausible idea. Every chance remark from the new boss needs dissecting. Last Wednesday he told me he liked the colour of my cardigan. What did this mean, I wondered? Did the compliment suggest that I‘m on the way up? Or did it mean I’m on the way down? Perhaps he mentioned my cardie because my work was unmentionable. Or did it mean he just likes the colour pink?


  Though this sort of intense theorising makes coming to work great fun for a bit, I‘m finding that it is like eating too many chocolates. Pleasing on the tongue at the time, but leaves you feeling sick quite quickly.


  Which, alas, leads me to the final strategy for dealing with the shudder and blip: keep your head down and get on with your job.


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