Jan Leow's Press Blog

What do you think?

What do you think? Whenever there is clash in opinion would you obediently follow what management says or would you rather strike out on your own on a limb and do what you feel would be correct in your own eyes?

The world is imperfect. And so are organizations. Whether it is business or military, they are composed of humans who are fallible basing judgment on their own experience and understanding and laced with emotion and private agenda.

In my years or working I have seen and experience politicking, abuse, personal attacks, favoritism, hypocrisy, nitpicking on little things, and of course difference in opinion.

There is joke and it goes something like this, “Rule #1: the boss is always right. Rule #2: If the boss is wrong, see rule #1.”

Yeah, right. If you have no where else to go for a fresh start and starting your own home business is fraught with uncertainties, then the only choice is to bear with all the nonsense and even emotional abuse. Would I say that people are selfish? In a way yes, but I would say some do it out of fear and survival; some do it out of ego and pleasure they get from stepping on people’s tail. It is fight for who is the top dog and getting ahead in the rat race, and dog eat dog is no problem for those who want to flex their authoritative powers.

So now comes the question, when management (which usually is the boss. So much for company policy, which is also laid down by one person. The boss, who then just hide behind this façade when they want to skirt around any issue, they will just say, “Its company policy. Can’t change the rule.” Yeah, right… company rules are meant to be broken.) wants their own way despite the fact that it will be to its detriment, would you follow it?

Take this example. A company’s purpose is to survive in the market place, to sell as much as it possibly can to any client who would need the goods and hopefully make some profit to cover the cost of running the business and the expansion of the company. In lieu of any contract that didn’t say you have to sell your product to that one and only customer only, then you are free to sell the same product or services to any other customer that will need it. So for example, if you have a product X that you sold to customer company A which you had established for many years now, and found another customer company B, though small did similar product line as customer company A. Then it is a good chance to expand the sales of product X to another customer. In fact, if you could find many similar customers, though they compete amongst themselves, you could sell the same product or services and achieve economies of scale.

However, fear has taken root with management (you know, it is just the boss) who would prefer to sell one product to one customer because they want to protect the interest of customer company A which had been doing business with them for quite some time now. So said the management, “No sale”.

Let me give my two cents worth of opinion. By selling one product item to one customer, the company is taking risk that customer company A will be loyal and stick to you no matter what because you are protecting their interest by not selling to their competitor? Get real man. If customer company A were to find a cheaper alternative, they would take off immediately and feed you to the wolves. You will be stuck with unsold stock which company A has no obligation to purchase from you (unless you have a foolproof contract, which usually there isn’t any since most business is done on basis of understanding).

In addition, what about those previous business that was established and the company was already selling to two or more similar customers in the same business line, wouldn’t this looked more like hypocrisy?

After thrashing it out eventually, the management gave in a little (if previous management, I would have no fighting chance because of BIG fat ego. At least this one still can negotiate a bit), and allowed the sale to company B on the condition that the product must be sold at a higher price then company A. Hmmm… in the market, company B and company A though rivals, do share information amongst each other. So looks like I fell into the catch-22 situation.

Sigh! Morale did take a beating. When management is too inflexible, the workforce morale could really be affected, and we as worker bee would not be able to give our 100% effort to the company. (Hah, reminds me of my previous management who said, “I admire your effort, but unfortunately effort was not appreciated without results.” But why a result was not achieved? Because previous management didn’t want me to succeed and gave many difficult and near impossible condition to fulfill. But in the end he did say later that he was amazed that I followed what he said before HQ sent him back to his home country. Ah, it felt good to have a thorn removed from my flesh.)

Enough of my rant. Scriptural wise, I should obey no matter how poor the management judgment may be. (Heb 13:17 – Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, and they that must give account, that they may do it with joy (I’m sure they do. Torturing me gleefully!), and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you.) That’s scripture. In practice it is really difficult. If I have good opportunity to move on, I think I will. I have thought about it, and what other things I could do. However the fear of the unknown holds me back. Perhaps one day, when opportunity knocks or I am force into a corner, then it will be sink or swim time. So in the meantime I will just have to slog on.

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