Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Yesterday I listened to one of tomorrow's leaders

It’s wonderful the way people using mobile phones on crowded trains seem to suffer from the delusion that they are enveloped in some kind of sonic cloak, so that they can chat away to their heart’s content without anyone else overhearing them.

Yesterday I was sitting across the aisle from a (relatively) young man who was talking to a recruitment agency.

‘Oh, I’m looking for anything that allows me to access senior appointments more quickly,’ he was saying, ‘I want to get an early start on extending my responsibility and authority. I don’t care much what sector the opportunity is in.’

He was clearly the ideal candidate to be offered that kind of a break. ‘I’m a team player,’ he explained, ‘I look for what motivates my people and pull them together to work towards common objectives. I like to think of myself as a team player, dynamic, a self-starter, target-oriented and never satisfied with less than 100%.’

I found myself exchanging smiles with other passengers, some of whom were clearly having trouble stifling laughter.

‘I believe in delivering results and meeting objectives,’ he went on, ‘and I refuse to indulge in empty management speak and my only faults are excessive modesty and a tendency towards self-effacement.’

I may not have got those last bits right.

The worst of it is that at the other end of the phone line, the agents were probably thinking ‘Wow! This is just the kind of guy we want. If he’s prepared to sell himself that brazenly, he’s no doubt prepared to sell anything.’

So they’ll get him his senior management position with the opportunity to move into a top executive job in one of our leading companies in the relatively near future. Within a decade or two he’ll be ‘earning’ a seven-figure salary and making significant contributions to the Tory party; in time, he might be calling the legislative shots for the rest of us, as an appointed member of the House of Lords or even an elected member of the House of Commons.

Because I rather suspect that he has just the qualities of self-awareness and empathy with his fellows that are needed for that kind of career.

If ‘qualities’ is exactly the word I’m looking for.

1 comment:

Awoogamuffin said...

He probably just watches the apprentice too much. I really hope that in real life you don't actually have to be quite such an idiot, though depressingly I might be wrong about that.