The Wizard of Oz Complex

Posted: November 4, 2014 in Rat Race
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So Says the Manager

I have always been name brand loyal. From product lines to working in big name companies if it was a well-known name, I gravitated toward it.

Then things started to change. As I clawed my way up the corporate ladder with minimal success, I found myself angry, hurt, and resentful toward those in leadership. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the typical conventional management system as there is nothing I found inherently wrong with the design. What I take issue with is some of the people who occupy seats of management.

From the outward appearance I might have appeared successful and on the upswing to my fellow colleagues but deep down on the inside I knew better. I knew that it was a contentious uphill battle for me because I was dealing with leaders (or so they call themselves) that had the social and emotional intelligence and attention span of a gnat. Gawd! Help us all.

This is What You Say about Your Boss

There are many theories to leadership. Some say it is innate and there are some individuals who are born with leadership traits. Other schools of thought believe anyone can be a leader. There are a few that deem it situational, while others uphold the leadership dynamic and power should be shared and team based.

And then there is reality. The true leadership that plagues the walls of the ivory towers and servicing centers of corporate America: The Wizard of Oz Complex Leadership Theory. You know who they are. They occupy seats of leadership (I might be giving them too much credit, pardon me) sitting in their insulated fish bowls (offices) absolutely clueless on operational management. Never been a subject matter expert except on how to look the part and sound the part. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in meetings, listened on conference calls to the mind boggling Sugar Honey Ice Tea (S.H.I.T.) that passes off as intelligence. Oh! And don’t even get me started about the grammatical and spelling errors in power points presentations and email communications. Urgggggg! This is the stuff that gets my goat and grinds me bones.

The Solution: Good Coffee

Well. Because the coffee sucks, pardon me while I vent: “Rats and a Heifer!” (Word Press Blogger Professor PVJ, Punchy Lands)

The Delusional Manager Says

The truth is some really do SUCK at their job and this perplexes me…..a bit. Jack rabbit! A whole lot!

But during one of my quiet moments when I was peacefully grazing in holy reverence my dinner and watching the GRIMM, it finally dawned on me. They are like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz. All grand delusion but no real substance. Thick headed and resistant to common sense. Insecure if the right answer comes from someone who is below them on the food chain. Hell bent on eight balling you into a corner because they believe you are after their job when the thought never crossed your mind. And just because they are in management doesn’t mean they are management material. And while we expect them to have the answers and be role models of what we would like to become or in the process of becoming, I will tell you in over many years of working to not sit with abated breath. As corporations cut financial corners, drop in quality of customer service, they will also be less selective of quality leadership.

The bottom line is, if they like you, you are in. If they don’t like you, you are out. If they are afraid of you, it is hell to pay.

  1. Aha! Very well said, Lady. It’s most frustrating. It’d be better if one could take it out somehow on the office.

  2. The Lite Rider says:

    All you say is true. If you don’t play the game, and are independent, it can really be quite difficult. However, one must find one’s ways to diffuse the truths you point out. “Leaders” are often like politicians. It takes a certain type to get there, and it is usually not the hard worker!

  3. I wonder if you’re experiencing the very common problem of promoting people one step beyond their level of competence.

    • Lady Cheetah says:

      I have seen this all the time. The term of it escapes me but it is the norm in order to preserve the status quo.

      • Actually, I have almost no experience in the corporate sphere, but this reminds me a lot of how academia works.

        I’ve often wondered how to design incentives so that people AND groups are rewarded for results, the rest be damned.

      • Lady Cheetah says:

        Funny that you say that because I am trying to transition back to academia (I worked in proprietary education).

        Most likely it is system based meaning organizations have a conventional management system establishing hierarchy or the system of absolutes: the in and the out similar like a survival of the fitest. The issue with rewarding those who deserve to be rewarded and giving nothing to those who don’t deserve to be rewarded is procedural and distibutive justice. Does it look fair in the eye if the beholder and as you know the merit system is designed to compensate even the laziest slug, hence the entitlement mentality.

  4. Yeah, ‘s life. And you nailed it at the end. It often comes down to fear. Just like the Wizard. Or wizard. Cowering in his corner. His ivory corner.

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