Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lives of the Smitten and Clueless - Pt II

Help!  There's a toad in my database!

(DBA's will get that joke)

Databases are like old people.  They contain a wealth of information.  They get slow, sick and become obsolete.  So, if we think of a manager of people who care for old people, a nursing home administrator of sorts, it is a little easier to understand this person's job would be like. For example, a nursing home administrator manages highly smart, technical people in the appearance of Nurses, Physical Therapists, and Dieticians.  In much the same way, A DBA Manager is responsible for managing highly technical people in IT that take great care of sensitive customers.  A DBA Manager is also responsible for working with managers of other highly technical teams within the organization.  Just as you wouldn't hire a sycophantic ass-kisser to manage a nursing staff, you shouldn't do this with folks who manage your DBA's.

But it happened to me.  I've been asking myself, "Why would you want some ass-kissing novice to come in and treat your staff like a peanut gallery?"  I finally came up with the answer, because all bullies need toadies.  Yes, the most successful bullies have toadies.

Having a toady or two means you've freakin ARRIVED!  After all, don't you need someone to hold the other kids down while you beat them up?  Beat-downs are always more effective when accompanied by a small army, aren't they? What about rushing through internal decisions so that your buddies at your previous company get a large sales contract from your new employer?  NOW yer talkin'!

So what exactly is a toady?  I like the way Google defines it:


A person who behaves obsequiously to someone important.
So how do you know if your leadership has hired a toady?
  1. Does the hired never challenge the boss on strategic issues, but liberally compliments the boss instead?
  2. Does the hired do personal favors for the boss?
  3. Do people often say of the hired "How did she get hired here?"
  4. Is the hired driven by one of the following motivations?
    • ambition
    • insecurity
    • incompetency
No matter what kind of toady your crappy leadership is trolling for, the result is the same:  failure of progress in the organization.

Why? Because you can't get work done between departmental teams with someone attached to your ASS.  If your toady's one and only skill is ass-kissing, she'll soon learn that she can't kiss all the asses with her head up yours.  You need to be able to at least kiss most of the asses to make progress in an organization, or at least make others feel like you're kissing their ass.

Bleh, I feel dirty now.

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