Friday, April 24, 2009

P.L.O.C. and my friend

I feel sorry for a friend who, since May of last year, has not found his way back to the workforce. Nine months earlier, he had a job that fit him like a glove: great title without the responsibilities; average pay, commensurate to the tasks; security of tenure for as long as he could dance to the music; and, so-so organizational skill requirement. Mind you, it was a top management post.

Then, here comes me, the problem.

I had a client who was looking for a managing director, someone capable of running the show for one of his start-up companies. Since my client was trying to carve a niche in an industry, he needed an out-of-the-box marketing guy with an entrepreneurial mindset. Long story short, he decided to explore talks with my friend (leading to employment) despite my clear indication of the latter's weakness: organizational skill.

Nine months later, the better-paying/high-profile/ultra-demanding job proved too much for my poor friend. To my client, it was a very expensive experiment. The endeavor did not take off initially, but my client was able to confirm the viability of the business model. Not willing to give up, the latter reaped through the former's successor.

I feel guilty seeing my friend desperate to find work; I know I am partly to blame. I thought I have been of help moving him into a professionally run organization, doubling his salary, unleashing his potential, and securing his family's future. I was wrong. He was comfortable in the previous rut.

Organizational skill was my friend's demise. I should have known better.

As manager, every element of the sometimes taken for granted "P.L.O.C." has to be ingrained. Planning, leading, organizing, and controlling have to be learned (yes, they can be learned) and perfected. Otherwise, one would be better off down the corporate ladder.

Now, my friend is my problem. He sent me a text the other day; he was depressed. I am afraid I cannot help. He has to pick himself up first before I could.

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