Rahman, a senior manager in a consulting firm was dealing with a career threatening dilemma. Due to his self-discipline and high performance he was working on two projects at the same time and reporting to two different managers. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call them the manager “A” and “B”. Both the managers had very different approaches, leadership styles and belief system for work and people. They didn’t get along at all.
“B” believed in creating visibility of his work inside the organization and creating organization-wide influence. He was influential and well-networked with the all the top leadership team. In a nutshell, he was strong, influential, visible, credible and company focused.
“A” was silent, humble, very empathetic, grounded, personally influential, authentic and quality focused. He had several patents to his name. He was more focused on building his personal profile and market presence along with meeting organizational goals.
Due to recent re-structuring, Rahman started getting clues that his role is getting split up. He got the opportunity to spend good amount of time with “A” and “B”during two different travels separately where they discussed the plans to set up the new team. When Rahman came back from both the visits, he analyzed his discussions with both of them and realized that they both were envisioning and assuming Rahman to pick up the lead role in their respective new set-up.
The role offered by “B” was more promising than the one offered by “A”. Moreover, “A” had plans to move out of the organization soon, this was known to Rahman.
Since “A” and “B” did not get along and the new role expectations where somewhere tied to their own personal growth, the situation was very dicey for Rahman.
While he did all his prioritization in his mind, the key factor was that he didn’t want to disrupt his rapport with either side. He was worried about his future in the organization and he had no plans to leave the organization.
Rahman didn’t have the choice, he had to pick one and he picked “A”. While “B” was in a better position to get Rahman to his next promotion.
Why did that happen?
When asked, Rahman had only one thing to distinguish. “A” had personally supported Rahman on various occasions. He had been kind to Rahman in past few years. He had been a good influence on him through his deeds and action. He had mentored him when Rahman was vulnerable and had gone out of the way a couple of times to help Rahman stay at the top of his game.
On the other side, the relation with “B” was like a good boss. “B” was very business-like with no extra empathy, presence or care.
Is this only Rahman’s story? Well I don’t think so.
Real Presence creates a human connection that’s much more sustainable than any retaining bonus.
Are you creating Human Connection with your teams?
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