Monday, November 9, 2009

"Wait Till Your Father Gets Home"

As a child, I rarely heard my mother make the statement, "Wait till your father gets home." When she did, it was a request for us to demonstrate some patience before doing something we were eager to do. It was not used as the warning or threat to which it had evolved in other homes. While on my most recent business trip, I had three experiences that brought the theme song from the 1970s cartoon which shared it's name with the aforementioned statement.

The first instance occurred when I heard a fellow officer state that he personally took no issue with a given situation, but "The Boss" was not going to be happy! In that context, he told those who heard him one of three things:

1. "The Boss" is irrational and will be angry when made aware of a situation that was not deemed all that inflammatory by his juniors.

2. I am a great guy who "gets it" where my senior just won't understand.

3. I am not going to spend the time to help "The Boss" understand that this is really no big deal.

The second time my mind made reference to the theme song was when a different officer told a group that we needed to further investigate a few issues and come up with a couple more solid recommendations before "The Boss" gets back in town. In this context, he was stating:

- I know "The Boss" and he has conditioned me to be concerned about certain issues, so let's go out of our way to explore them to the point we are comfortable and not wait for him to ask us to do the same.

- If I were the "Decision Maker", I would want to address these specific concerns before making a decision. We better be 100% comfortable with the recommendations we are making before we present them.

In the first example, an individual was hiding behind "The Boss" (at best) and being disloyal by misrepresenting him (at worst.) The latter shows an individual taking a proactive stance and acknowledging that we need not wait until "The Boss" gets here to do our due diligence.

The third instance was while waiting at the airport for my flight back to Memphis. My bride and son called me via speaker phone excited to know I would soon be home. A completely different point of reference, but this father couldn't wait to get home.

In short, represent our seniors well; do not wait to take the very action our seniors would otherwise direct; and make our Boss's/Mom's/Dad's return something that is celebrated and not dreaded.

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