An Open Letter to my Previous Management Team

I want to open by saying that working for you for the past 10 years has had a lasting impact on my life, and on my occupational education.  My time at your company had highs, and it had lows.  More importantly, I consider it to have been a decade-long learning experience.  I have learned lessons from all of you as a team, and from each of you as individuals, and as a new project manager with an eye toward upward mobility, I draw from these lessons on a daily basis:

  • From all of you, I have learned what happens when you put policies ahead of people, and why I should never do so.
  • From all of you, I have learned how NOT to handle promotions and advancement.
  • From all of you, I have learned how to make the workplace an inhospitable place.
  • From all of you, I have learned the consequences of a high power distance in the American workplace. (eg: “Me manager, you worker; Me big, you little)
  • From all of you, I have learned how not to communicate with my employees, so they remain in the dark as long as possible about all things that may affect them, large and small.
  • From all of you, I have learned how not to administer and interpret an employee satisfaction survey.
  • From most of you, I have learned how to show my employees that I really don’t care about them.
  • From one of you, I have learned how to play the political game par excellence…and why I should not.
  • From one of you, I have learned what happens when you start to believe your own horseshit.
  • From one of you, I have learned how to single-handedly squash morale and destroy employee engagement.
  • From one of you, I have learned the dangerous combination of Inexperience, Incompetence, and Ignorance.
  • From one of you, I have learned what happens to the non-favored when one plays favorites.
  • From one of you, I have learned that perkiness and blue eyes do not make up for an utter lack of skill.
  • From one of you, I have learned what it’s like when one leaves every last shred of personality out in the car every morning.
  • From one of you, I have learned why one should not be a lying douchebag.
  • From one of you, I have learned the difference between a good person and a good manager.

While my recently-earned MBA gave me a sound education in things like finance, strategy and leadership…it is only textbook-learning.  I am truly thankful to have had these years of real-life experience to fully round out my education and make it immeasurably more applicable.

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