Leadership

What to do with the underutilized genius on your staff

While having brilliant players on your team can be advantageous, that doesn't mean they're easy to manage.

Have you ever worked on a project for months (or years), and one day a new employee walked in and offered a different way of doing things that was so good it rendered all your work useless? More than likely, you and the rest of your team felt like idiots for not thinking of it first.

It's easy to be intimidated by someone who clearly outpaces you in intelligence, creativity, social influence or memory. Even if you're a bright star yourself, there may be someone on your staff with exceptional abilities different than your own.

While having brilliant players on your team can be advantageous, that doesn't mean they're easy to manage. People who excel far beyond the norm in a particular talent or mental process can be unconventional, controversial, intolerant, rigid, and/or abrasive to the point that their abilities don't get fully recognized or integrated effectively.

The challenges of managing Mozart

According to "Genius at Work," an article by Diane L. Coutu in Harvard Business Review, "Working with and managing genius is precisely what companies must learn to do if they are to survive in the unforgiving, competitive environment of the twenty-first century."

However, creating an environment where a brilliant staff member can contribute to the extent of his or her exceptional ability can represent a significant challenge in the typical corporate workplace.

Perhaps similar to trying to drive a standard model car with a high performance engine, unique management dilemmas present themselves when you supervise a team with resident Genius, including:

  • Weighing workload - You may be tempted to give your Genius more work because you know he or she can get it done much faster, or bring your Genius in on projects outside of their job description to ask for their input. The trade off is that you may appear to be playing favorites, and it may be inferred that you consider the other members of the team to be incompetent in comparison
  • Taming a force of nature - Astronomically bright employees may get really worked up when you or others don't take their ideas to heart or follow their recommendations in the time frame they expect. They can also be impatient with colleagues, rules, processes, cultural norms and authority figures. They can trample, manipulate or simply ignore the way things are done and how people feel, and you might find yourself cleaning up their messes more than you benefit from their work
  • Sharing your rare resource - You've probably received requests from other departments for your Genius to be involved in projects outside of their normal duties. You may even have had some power struggles over how your Genius spends his or her time at work

It is not unheard of to have a brilliant mind relegated to support roles such as inventory, purchasing or help desk because no one can agree on how to allocate them within the organization

By gaining insight into how your Genius perceives the world, including the ways his or her exceptional ability can be more like a disability, you create the opportunity to be a better manager for them and the others on your team.

Along the way, you may discover a role for your Genius that allows him or her to contribute to the organization at the peak of their potential.

Understanding genius

Consider this - on an intelligence Bell Curve, with an IQ score of 100 being normal, an individual who scores 20 points lower, with a score of 80, would be considered unable to manage life without assistance. Yet if another individual scored 20 points higher, instead of also being considered disadvantaged, they are often expected to function at a higher capacity than those of normal intelligence.

Highly perceptive people are likely more aware than most of us of all the things that can go wrong in our world, and carry the weight on their shoulders. They may feel that they can see the solution to global problems, yet be acutely aware that they haven't been able to articulate their vision in such a way that has allowed others to join in to help, or they haven't been able to implement their ideas due to limited time, interest, ability or funds.

They may hold themselves to impossibly high standards, paralyzing themselves with a fear of failure, or using the potential for failure as an excuse for not trying.

The spectrum of brilliance

Some exceptionally bright people are good with numbers, creatively intelligent, powerfully intuitive, motivate others in amazing ways, or have eidetic (photographic) memory.

The scope of their heightened ability may be different as well - with skills as narrow as a specific kind of math, or as sweeping as strategic forethought. They may be able to access it readily, or only in moments of inspiration that cannot be forced, no matter the deadline.

In IT, roles such as engineer, programmer, analyst, web designer, help desk rep and manager can all attract geniuses with specific abilities. In order for them to excel in their work, though, they must have some self-enlightenment about the potential and limitations of their gift.

Coping skills

When it comes to the workplace, more important than the type of brilliance is the way the individual manages his or her giftedness.

For some, their flashes of brilliance may feel like a force of nature that they struggle to bring under control. For others, it may be mental focus with pinpoint accuracy. Some may be regimented and resist changing topics or projects. Others may be so open to the possibilities and interested by everything around them that they are easily distractible, leaving projects unfinished.

Many highly intelligent people are also highly sensitive. They may be unable to interpret social interactions accurately, taking harmless comments or business decisions deeply personally. They may not have well-developed skills for handling error, failure, and rejection.

Resurrecting the underutilized genius

You may not know the full extent of what your Genius is capable of doing - he or she may be holding back in order to:

  • Keep a low profile - Stay within their job description to avoid being assigned extra work from your department or other departments, or to avoid stepping on the toes of colleagues
  • Fit in with colleagues - To collaborate effectively and engage socially
  • Avoid reprisal - In the past they may have been labeled as trouble, found that they didn't fit in well in a department or organization, or even found colleagues or supervisors to be intimidated by them such that their work was devalued or sabotaged
  • Minimize stress - If they are easily overwhelmed by daily living, or prefer a simple life to ambition and pursuing wealth, you may find your Genius hiding out in a low-stress or "invisible" role

In addition, they may not fully realize how their abilities can be put to use in accomplishing departmental goals. You may discover that when you give them the big picture, they can put the pieces together in a way you never considered.

Accommodations

It may take some creative job description writing to find a workable role for geniuses on your staff.

In his Workplace Fairness blog post, "Win-Win: Managing Top Performers," Bob Rosner writes, "If there is one hallmark of a top performer, they usually are curious and want to learn. So it makes a lot of sense to create learning opportunities for them at work."

Rosner recommends letting the heavy-hitters on your team choose their own projects, get paid for learning new skills or working on pet projects, lead cross-disciplinary teams, and share the spotlight with you by filling in for you at executive meetings, etc.

Additional strategies for addressing the unique needs of your team include:

  • Make sure you know your Genius' motivations for working, and what kind of environment works best for them.
  • Find out what he or she struggles with most in the workplace and at home, and look for ways to address these issues.
  • Be sure to explain the reasons behind why workplace decisions are made -- "This is just how we do it here" or "it came from upper management" will likely be met with resentment or frustration.
  • Evaluate how much time your Genius spends working with raw data, rough drafts of RFPs, requisitions, and other tasks that can be effectively administered by othersConsider ways to set up the production chain so that he or she is allocated for filling in the missing pieces of complex problems.
  • Check in regularly with your Genius to see how the previous steps in the chain can be fine-tuned so that he or she doesn't need to go back and re-engineer what others have done.
  • Make sure that he or she isn't assigned to a project that hasn't been nailed down yet - they may complete the requirements so quickly that the client hasn't had time to get all the necessary approvals.
  • Try to keep your Genius focused on innovation, developing tools for automation of internal processes, or trying to predict future requirements.
  • Small concessions, such as allowing him or her to wear headphones at work, have a quiet, uninterrupted place to sit from time to time, or asking them to present lunch-and-learns can have a surprisingly positive impact.
  • A consultative role, done remotely, may be the best solution for your Genius (and your team).

Demonstrating compassion, validation, respect, flexibility, and encouragement, while key to working with any team member, can be particularly powerful when it comes to reaching the extraordinary talent within your Genius, and keeping the peace for all involved.

Ellen Berry writes about a variety of topics related to the workplace for BrainTrack.com. She has contributed content to BrainTrack's Career Planning Guide.

62 comments
RMSx32767
RMSx32767

Or you could do what is all too common; eliminate those by whom you feel threatened, even if the threat is only in your imagination.

databaseben
databaseben

what do you do with all the genuis's hired? simple, fire those in management who hired them because their poor judgement added problems to your company and now your asking us (and the world) what to do.

andrew232006
andrew232006

People give IQ too much credit. It's a tool to predict academic performance. At some point you have to stop looking at what someone might have been able to accomplish in school and what they have accomplished. I get extremely skeptical when someone claims to have an IQ that is three or more standard deviations above the norm and is advertising that instead of their various degrees and accomplishments.

harryolden
harryolden

I have the same problem, and people do not understand me when at work as I get involved in it and seem to be in anoher world of my own I have a understanding of nearly all mechanical things pull everything apart and fix it and to comunicate what Iam doing is another thing thy do not understand. so thy leave me to it and know I get it done there would be others with that same problem I do not have a high IQ what thy are looking for but nobody can keep up with what I do.

tarose.trevor
tarose.trevor

...if this person is genuinely a genius, then who says you are qualified to "manage" them... and maybe that is the problem, thinking that you need to or should... A guy I went to school with, whom I was attempting to do some business with a while back, said something to me... now, this guy is a hard-nosed business man as they say... and no deal was made in the end, and I am not sure he fully appreciated what he was missing, but, this is what he said: " ...Trevor, you are like a f%cking useless computer from the 25th Century that no one knows how to use... " - which is a bit of (you must admit) a back-handed compliment... but my instant thought was this: " ...well maybe you should stop trying to USE me, and instead SET ME FREE... who says you are qualified to use me anyway, and who said i NEED an operator? " - after all, if I am supposed to be that far ahead, doesnt it make sense that perhaps I need just to be given the chance to do what I THINK is right? ...and isnt that perhaps why people like myself get bored & frustrated? ...everyone is so busy trying to USE & PROFIT from us, and no one seems to be asking how they can HELP us.

alschmidt
alschmidt

I'm inclined to agree with the general vision here, except that about the need for the genius' to step up to a specific way. Creativity is part of an individuals' being, and expresses in many facets. My MB was 140 when I was tested in '76. I didn't expect that, but after 40 years in the workplace, I've seen a lot of the things shared here. Co-operation is the key, and usury stinks. So those who do it should be ashamed of themselves, though, their nature doesn't allow for that. I learned to deal with it, as most talented folks just give of themselves, because they enjoy what they do. But many choose to capitalize on it, and not share glory with the genuine source. Money alone is not the answer to life. I'm glad that Alpha_Dog and company has a 'empathic' element.

skrabler
skrabler

I'm reticent to call myself genius even tho my IQ is in that range. How can we connect with employers like Alpha_Dog?

YepThatsMe
YepThatsMe

I almost forwarded this to my manager,but I'm concerned that she will see it as a challenge to her authority.

Professor8
Professor8

A consulting role, done remotely, may be the WORST solution for your Genius and your team. Work interactions may be a major source of mental (and positive emotional) stimulation, with the result that her creativity suffers for lack of material on which to work. The genius will probably want some recognition for his good work. A verbal compliment can be recognized as an insult and an attempt to take improper advantage rather than provide reasonable compensation in proportion to productivity. A verbal compliment, letter for his files and/or framed certificate, and reasonable bonus would most often be more appropriate. The main difficulty I've seen working with genii has been negotiating "artistic differences" amongst us. Sometimes there are multiple good ways of doing things, each with advantages and disadvantages with a roughly equal net. If you do it all one way, it's good; if you do it all the other way, it's good; if you do it partyly this way and partly that, it's rotten (e.g. "you get squished, like grape"). But when your genii are adamantly convinced that different ways are the only proper/ professional/ state of the art/ ethical ways in the circumstances, then management better start earning their keep for a change by weighing the alternatives and making an informed decision. Even simply flipping a coin, arm wrestling, checkers, go, chess game, weight-lift or some such (the more outside all the parties' experience and habits the better) is better than letting the conflict simmer. Then, ASAP, treat them all to lunch, or throw a little office picnic, surfing afternoon, ski outing, softball game, movie release bash, or some such to rebond the team.

Professor8
Professor8

The fresh eyes do not necessarily mean the person is a genius. You can get fresh eyes simply by bringing someone over from a different project or different office to have a look, or giving your people breaks (sabbaticals), sending them to a little training on something new and different that appeals to their interests and gets their own minds fired up. Many normals don't understand there are always trade-offs. They can't see the trade-offs because they cannot imagine the future being any different in any way than the way it is now. One problem is that we often don't see all of the options we have. We get used to one set of points of view. We fail to see the essence of things. We rarely peel back the layers to see the reasons behind the reasons behind the reasons for the current ways, and recognize that we just might be able to cut through a lot of that to do things a new way. (OTOH, some people who think they can cut through the clutter are failing to see some of the reasons behind the reasons, and wreak havoc as a result.) Of course, cubbyholing and coercing a genius away from his best mode of working, on the kinds of things he's not best working on, can be a huge waste. She gets dissatisfied and the company (managers and executives) are not getting the value she could be producing.

Dukhalion
Dukhalion

This article and specially the comments show that there is still a small hope for mankind. Alpha_dog's contribution was an eye opener. In those circles where I have to work I had to make the decision a long time ago that it is better to be smart and silent in the workplace than to suffer because of the jealousy. Unfortunately these geniouses tend to have a hard time finding a suitable spouse, and thus their full genetic and mental abilities don't usually continue fully into the next generation.

bkopell
bkopell

In all probability your genius will want to have available opportunities to further their learning. That should be encouraged, even if it seems outside their field of work. (Who knows what cross-pollination will occur). But, learning opportunities should be available to the "normal folks" as well. The genius will probably want some recognition for their good work - a verbal compliment can go a fair way. And, don't make them promises you won't keep - that is a way to disgruntlement for anyone.

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

Normals don't understand there are always trade-offs. And in their experience, they are correct. There are not trade-offs because they cannot imagine the future being any different in any way than how it happened. Normals cannot see that the group _could_ have finished the 4-month project in 4 days if they had let folks run free. But Normals can easily measure attendance or dress or meeting participation or other sorts of useless paperwork. Steve Jobs referred to this process as 'bozofication of the company.'

Madsmaddad
Madsmaddad

Not sure what the INT/INF or the type = J means, but I know I am 155, not that it is any use now that I am retired. I was always great at getting ideas and getting things started, not too good at the bull-work detail, and good at wrapping up. Also I thought I was good at documenting stuff - User manuals rather than day to day processes. I never felt that I was appreciated enough when the salesmen were pulling down the big salaries on the basis of my customer solutions. Thanks,

jsargent
jsargent

If they are such geniuses they should find a way to make things work and fit in. This is when you find out how useful they are. I don't want to wet-nurse a genius when my stupid employees are doing better "as a whole" across the spectrum of duties. Many times have I heard that a genius is bored with the bread-and-butter duties. Many geniuses don't offer that much more to the company until there is something that needs "special" handling. You can't afford to have any employee pick and choose his tasks unless their positives out-weigh their negatives. Besides, it only breads animosity amongst other employees and in turn gives the genius an even harder time to fit in. However, if you explain to a suspected genius what your targets are, then will they excel in the working environment.

mdwalls
mdwalls

This was an excellent article, which tackles the conspiracy of silence surrounding really bright people in the organization. But, I do want to take two exceptions to your message: 1) "Genius" is all too often used as a pejorative in the workplace. Your discussion would be better focused on anyone who has different skills/knowledge/abilities than the bulk of their colleagues. High IQ may create problems, but so can high levels of mechanical/craft abilities, or high levels of artistic ability, or just a willingness to "tell it like it is". 2) IQ is not the only measure of ability. In fact, its use in psychology has dropped off in recent years because available means of measurement have inherent biases towards (English) reading comprehension and exposure to the classical Western educational/cultural tradition. Your janitor MAY be smarter than your team of PhDs, but standardized testing wouldn't demonstrate that. Further, there are multiple dimensions of intellectual aptitude that are not tapped by IQ testing. So, the big challenge is to structure work to take advantage of the skills and abilities of each individual, regardless of IQ score. By way of disclosure, last time I was tested my IQ was only 132 on the Stanford-Binet test, so I am clearly an envious SOB. BTW, my Meyers-Briggs category is INTP In my experience the E vs I and the J vs P elements make a huge difference in how someone fits in the work place.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The coleus on my desk exhibits that sort of genius. 99.999999999999999999% of the time that's simply naivety or not labouring under a set on pre-conceptions.

GuardianBob
GuardianBob

Funny article. I know that feeling and I can tell you MY 2 cents on this. I am one of these left-aside genius (in a world of 2 digits IQ) and to be left aside is OK. A genius will always know what to do with the extra time; personally I sell it to other companies that UNDERSTANDS who I am and what I can do for them. So if corporates, lowest IQ of any company, don't get it, it's their loss and a plus for the other company. If you're a bitch, you can even assist their competitors, it's even funnier. Oh, and it is so funny to see people running around an office looking for something that you know you can assist with but they don't even take a look at you (it's a good thing, they would see the laughter in my eyes!!), it's priceless...for the rest, there's MasterCard!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

That was one of the best articles on this subject I've seen on TR. I think it's interesting that people with extraordinary talents often need to be helped to bring those talents to bear. Often what they really need is a wingman, someone with complementary talents for example; one to bridge social gaps for example, or to keep the other ones feet on the ground when thinking is threatening to pull them away from the task at hand. Of course, setting them up with one isn't really in the normal job description of a manager, and it's not really something there is a method for doing, excepting trial-and-error. Anyway, these kinds of ADD-type character flaws are generally made worse by solitude, so keep those brainiacs in the social sphere somehow.

jsargent
jsargent

To achieve somewhere you also need a high EQ and experience.

jsargent
jsargent

IQ test do not fully explore the ability that someone has to problem solve more elaborate problems. How can you test the IQ of a squirrel? Well there was a BBC program in the 80's that did just that by presenting real world problems to various squirrels. As a person who is oriented to mechanical things I have no doubt that you have an ability to use your tools in a novel and unorthodox way to excel in solving such problems. I would like to see a non-mechanically oriented person do the same. If you have an average IQ you can boost your IQ by practising IQ tests. If you can improve your IQ by practising then what does it say about IQ tests and IQ measurements?

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

There is a difference between managing a person and managing a project or paperwork. Most of the geniuses don't need personal management, they need obstacles removed in the way the best football coaches work with the best folks at each position. The coach doesn't have to be a quarterback or a linebacker. He doesn't even have to make the most money. He has to recognize what the job of managing star athletes or star workers entails

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Many people with extraordinary talents feel frustrated, because they think they can see what they *could* do, and they feel like they're not achieving that. Instead of focusing on "being used", try thinking of it as "being put to good use". A great talent prospers when allowed and enabled to do their best. Good management of talented people is very much about enabling their potential.

Bruce Epper
Bruce Epper

I would imagine that you should be used to this behavior by now. After all, didn't this start when you were still in grade school (as the class bully insists it is in your best interests to do his homework too)?

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

You won't find a company like ours because before we came into existence there wasn't one that I knew of. We built the company with a few basic core values, one of which was to "use the gifts of the person while acknowledging and bolstering their faults with the skills of others in the organization". The rest of the magic just happened by itself as we watched in wonder.

jsargent
jsargent

Finding a spouse is all about character. Perhaps they have a hard time because there are some that specialize too much and don't try to look further than what they excel at. This in effect means that they may be a genius in a number of things that interest them but not in the things that other people and make for great conversation like current affairs, history, politics, art etc.

jsargent
jsargent

Everybody wants recognition. They should get it.

jsargent
jsargent

Are we saying that geniuses are somehow not normal or different. Perhaps we are missing the ball park all together. I'll bring up my daughter to be a genius and still have the soft skills to succeed in life. You think that you can be a genius and normal at the same time?

macvelli
macvelli

"I don't want to wet-nurse a genius when my stupid employees are doing better "as a whole" across the spectrum of duties." and "Many geniuses don't offer that much more to the company until there is something that needs "special" handling." Glad I don't work for you or your company.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Maybe there's a strong source nearby :p

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

That's neat that you mention this. Now that I look at it, all of our resident geniuses with the exception of M have quasi-normal wingmen. I am B's wingman for instance, and it lets me translate the brainiac gibberish into English. Also, none of these people with the exception of J can multitask for beans, though they all believe they do.

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

In our organization, we don't have star quarterbacks making disproportionate sums of money. We are a team. We use people for the talents they bring to the table, while handling the stuff they are not good at. D in my example has a rather severe form of dyslexia, while J has discalculia. To put J in accounting and D in documentation would be a mistake for both the individual and the organization, so in the words of Bob Newhart, we "STOP IT!!!" This kind of accommodation works well for normal folks too. Once you identify a person's skills and difficulties, their job can be tailored to match what they are capable of producing to everyone's benefit. I manage these people and make sure the company gets what it needs while matching the skill sets of the tasks within the job to the person. Once that is done, I just try to get out of their hair while keeping tabs on things.

eb-braintrack
eb-braintrack

AnsuGisalas, please tell us what path you followed to be trained as a manager, and how you ended up with a team of very lucky geniuses, because I suspect there a quite a few folks who would like to work with you...

tarose.trevor
tarose.trevor

no i was 6' tall by the end of primary school, and 6'4" early into high school... people didnt tend to even attempt bullying me... not sure if you were joking or this was some kind of assumption on your part.

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

...but generally has more to do with psychological compatibility and whether the hind-brain considers the other to be good hunter/provider or gatherer/nurturer material. The funny part is that of those people in my office, only A and J are in a relationship with each other and none of the others have love interests with above average IQs. Further, these "normals" only seem to tolerate their partner's eccentricities, not treasure them for the resource they are. Bottom line: Geniuses have a tougher time dating and maintaining relationships, and this is only partially due to their eccentricities.

eb-braintrack
eb-braintrack

The article is about the people who are obviously and undeniably gifted at something that most others are not, therefore, by definition, not normal. But you raise an interesting question - is it truly "giftedness", or can you raise your child to have a 140+ IQ?

jsargent
jsargent

Perhaps you don't feel that geniuses should develop their soft skills. I would have added that you involve the genius in group activities and encourage them to engage more in social activities which would help them feel more comfortable. But when a genius is unwilling to learn soft skills or adapt to new situations then you have to let then know what the problem is. Sorry if I have irritated so many geniuses but don't forget that I might not have the "soft skills" to express my point of view ;)

jsargent
jsargent

Isn't it important that everyone works under a unified business manifesto and understands that everyone has value to the company rather and that each employee should prove their worth first. I have know divas that are quite adept at breaking up teams because they can handle not being the boss within the first 6 months on the job. You have to develop their soft skills. If a person is a genius in soft skills I have no problem what so ever.

jsargent
jsargent

The "stupid employees" was meant as sarcasm, They are far from stupid but you take the bate anyway.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

It's all too easy to assign the crucial partner to something else, or even ship them off to another department. That can hurt results, and for a long time. It takes time to break in a new wingman, you see :) The wingman often works like a co-processor or L1 cache: the wingman keeps track of the stuff that's already processed, but still has to be put into the big picture. After all, they've shown that the mind can only comfortably handle 5 +/- 2 different concepts at a time, and complex problems can easily exceed that. So, the wingman helps cut up the steak into manageable pieces.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

To enable work? To make the best of the resources at hand? As for how it feels to be underachieving despite of a perfectionist need to do, well, I certainly feel bad when I get into that kind of mind-trap, and the people the article was about are obviously in danger of getting into that situation. Specific shortcomings can frustrate even the most talented people, and when it happens it must be extremely aggravating. As an example, take the people with mad skills who go into hiding in a non-challenging job, as described in the article, don't you think that's likely the result of very bad experiences, or of serious self-doubt? Don't you think, if it was you, that you'd feel much better if someone helped you to fulfill your potential, so that you can stop wondering, whether or not your gift is real or imagined? I feel I was just stating the obvious, so please elaborate if you disagree...

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

And mainly through practice, my soft skills are pretty good. Sometimes they don't invite me to meetings in case I persuade their boss that they are talking out of their arse. Oops, I mean what thay are saying may not be entirely correct. :D

jsargent
jsargent

Whether the manifesto is good or bad, if you work anywhere you have to follow a few rules. Like I said anyone who doesn't like the manifesto should start his/her own business. In effect a true genius is someone who CAN communicate which is why when you see a "so called" genius who has difficulty communicating their ideas in a clear and concise way they don't do well in most organizations. The geniuses who can communicate do well and nobody notices that they too are geniuses. Why is it a problem with everyone else if a person cannot communicate? In my experience geniuses who communicate well advance quickly in organizations. The stereotype is when someone says "I'm a genius but they don't understand me or they don't understand my ideas". No! if someone cannot communicate they are not a genius regardless of their IQ or perhaps their ideas weren't that good in the first place. Just because someone is a genius doesn't mean they don't make mistakes.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Not to mention the OP. Entire thread is based on sterotypes, from the poor definition of genius, to the idea that they can't communicate. Worse still true genius is always difficult to communicate, the concepts exist in one to handful's head until it becomes commonplace. I never said dummies came up with the manifesto, I simply rerfuse to believe the stereo type, that the manifesto failed because some hyper geek came up with an implementation no else understood...

jsargent
jsargent

Who's being bigoted now? You have obviously worked in the wrong companies if your manifesto was written by dummies. Why do you think I am supporting mediocrity? I am definitely not supporting mediocrity. You obviously think that there should be some system of aristocracy rather than everyone pulling their weight and doing their best. When I started work here, I didn't know a single word of their language but I had experience from my home land. Each year for the first 5 years they gave me a 10% or more pay rise and after 5 years I was promoted with a pay rise of 50%. I learnt the language and proved myself while learning the social skills that I needed and earned a good name for myself. I now earn twice the average wage. I did this because I followed the business manifesto and produced excellent results. My only problem during those early years was that I didn't have the soft skills to do the social rounds at the company and handle more difficult situations. Why is anyone mediocre if they are doing what the are paid to do well ? Mediocrity is a personal thing and totally depends on how positive you are in life and how hard you push yourself. If a genius can't push himself then he will be mediocre all his life. If you have a problem with the manifesto then start up your own business.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

By the time the manifesto gets down to us, it's become an interpretation of how, when, who and with what that the bunch of mediocre types you keep lauding think will achieve it. Do I sound new or something? We aren't talking Sir Bill and Steve (RIP) here, but Dogbert and the guy with the pointy hair.

jsargent
jsargent

Heaven forbid that your 60 year director who runs a successful business should tell you what to do The business creates the manifesto so that employees know the direction in which the company is heading. Unless we are talking about financial geniuses I doubt that it is an issue of who created it. Sorry if the phrase "wet nurse" seems like bigotry but I don't believe in treating one person different from another.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

was created by the genuises or the mediocrities.... Fear/resentment of those more intelligent of yourself is a relative piece of bigotry. If your IQ is below 100, that's substantial part of the population who are scarily unlikable... How many geniuses work as wage slaves in corporateville anyway. Even if they do, hands up how many people think Albert was the best patent clerk ever. I bet he was crap at it, too busy trying to figure out why c is a constant....

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

The only correction I would make is that the "cutting up the steak" goes both ways. B is very narrow in focus, but wide in vision, which means I have to dice up projects for him and reassemble the bits. He doesn't speak well, so when it comes time to pitch the project or give a report, that's my job. In doing so, I give a panoramic overview, giving more details if desired, which is again like cutting up steak, this time for management.