Leadership, A Parable

There once was a man, a leader of a small team, who was well-loved by the people he worked with, well-respected by the teams he interacted with, and who always strove to improve the lives of everyone around him

The Manager grew envious of this leader. He was jealous of the successes he experienced. He was jealous of the respect he had. He was jealous of the leader turned even failures into opportunity for growth. He wants to fire the Leader, but he can’t. The Leader is too well-loved by the people in the company.

So The Manager devised a plot.

The Manager goes to The Leader and he says, “For One Million Dollars, will you tell everyone in the company you are a hypocrite and a fraud? I’ll put you on every screen in the company. On the intranet, on people’s laptops, on e-mails. Everyone will see it and everyone will hear you say you are a hypocrite and a fraud. For One Million Dollars.”

The Leader thinks about it and then he says, “Okay, but under three conditions.”

The Manager says, “What?”

“First,” The Leader says, “I want you to stop mistreating the people in the company. I want you to respect their lives, respect their ideas, respect their passions and their ability to make this a truly great place to work.”

“Sure thing,” the Manager says.

“Second,” The Leader says. “I want you to leave the teams alone to do their jobs. No more micro-managing. No more undermining people with politics and playing favorites. No more pet projects. Just leave the teams alone and watch them succeed.”

“Okay,” the Manager said. “No problem. … And the third?”

“Well,” the Leader said, “A Million dollars is a lot, but if you give me two months, I can probably pull in some favors to get the money for you.”

The Leader paused, then continued: “You promise to put me on EVERY screen in the company, right?”