Kicking ASS • 5 December 2006 • The SnowBlog
I always knew it. I have ASS - and now the world knows too. Without a hint of a snigger (although I know you're laughing, Emma D, I know) an article in this week's Management Today covers ASS - Accelerated Success Syndrome. And guess who's case study number 4? Oh yes. I quote:
"MT has identified a generation of high achievers who suffer from the modern malady of ASS... ASS sufferers didn't start out disillusioned... ASS sufferers have no regrets on quitting corporate life..." and so it goes on. I can't copy out any more, I'm laughing too much. Genius.
Anyway, [dries eyes], aside from the excellent acronym entertainment, it's a really good article. I would direct you to it but it's only in the print edition (December 2006). Oh, and there's a really flattering photo of me because the nice photographer cleverly concealed most of my hips behind some books for which I will love him forever. (Although facewise I look a bit like an angry hamster.) Some quotes about me:
"Emma Barnes, 31, joined the Kingfisher fast-track scheme in 1999...she was so keen to start that she volunteered to join the business eight weeks early."
Yes, yes I did. Oh, if I knew then what I know now.
"Her swift promotion through the ranks led her to become B&Q's youngest ever buyer at just 25. 'Kingfisher's tag line for the management development scheme was senior management within seven to 10 years,' she says. 'It was very compelling.' But her big promotion left her cold. 'I was absolutely over the moon for a day. The I had a huge crash because that was everything I had set my sights on and I had achieved it, and nothing had changed - life went on and I was still working really hard.'"
Compare that to the high I had after we won Small Publisher of the Year. Now *that* was a worthwhile achievement and far from delivering a fleeting high has sustained me ever since. Anyway. I like the next bit best:
"Already feeling disoriented, Barnes suffered a severe setback when a strategy she had masterminded went wrong in implementation. 'All of the people who said it was the best strategy forgot they'd said that; they all distanced themselves. I got a two on my performance appraisal and suddenly all bets were off. I felt absolutely abandoned and devastated.' The experience was her first introduction to how a company actually works."
Yep, 'how a company actually works'. Oh, except...what's that? We appear to be building and running a company that doesn't work like that? It is possible; it makes better business sense and it is unforgivable that the majority of companies are run the way they are. Don't stand for it. Don't develop a thick enough hide to cope with it. Don't get bullied. Walk. Get out of there. Leave them to it. Find another way to spend your life because it really will be time to retire before you know it and what will you have done?