There Is A “Me” In “Team”

By:

MEMORANDUM
TO: All staff
FROM: Bill Bidikoff
Senior VP Operations, Northwest Central Region

My purpose in writing today is to outline how each of you can help me to better carry out our regional and company-wide mandates.

I think it goes without saying that there is no “I” in “team.” On the other hand, it should be apparent to all of you that there is a “me” in “team,” albeit backwards and separated by the letter “a.” Furthermore, as far as you’re concerned, that “me” is me.

In short, when I succeed, you succeed. Well, actually I succeed and you probably get to keep your job. But in today’s economy, that should count for success.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I help our company in general and Bill Bidikoff in particular succeed?” Some of our more senior employees may simply be asking, “How can I get Bill promoted and out of my hair?”

In either case, I think you’ll agree that the primary objective is to help me (and by extension the company) get ahead. And a simple rule of thumb to apply regarding any new initiative is: “Will this help me, and by ‘me’ I mean Bill Bidikoff?”

Say, for example, you have just completed a sales report that highlights increased revenues for the past quarter. Before signing off on the report, review it one final time and consider any ways that you can fit my name into it to ensure that I receive any credit due from senior management.

Likewise, if you’re about to give a presentation to the executive committee about failings in our region’s organizational structure, take a few minutes and make damn sure that my name is mentioned nowhere in the materials. At the same time, feel free to add a few words assigning blame to Joe Conlan, Mary Westin or any of the other regional marketing managers who are competing with me for the VP Sales position.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to stress once again the importance of working together to help me obtain my goals. If you are communicating with my office, I expect you to not only do your job, I also expect you to do mine as well.

Let me give you a helpful example. Ted Nolanson, Director of IT for our region, recently sent me a detailed memo outlining the current problems with our computer security program. Ted described the problem, listed several possible solutions and left the final decision to me.

While Ted’s effort was detailed and workmanlike, it failed on that most basic of criteria, namely how much work will this create for me? What I would have preferred to see from Ted was a single recommendation for action with a plan for giving me the credit for any success and him the blame for any shortcomings.

I think we can all agree that our ultimate objective regarding any corporate policy, objective or decision is to create a win-win situation. And by win-win, I mean a situation where I not only win by not having to expend undue energy but where I also win by looking good to those above me. Remember, let’s all pull together for me.

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