Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Workplace Lion

A reader of Turtles at Work recently commented about how there are people within the office that just take advantage of you in certain situations even though they are supposedly smarter or more educated than you. These bosses and co-workers are just simply lazy and disguise their laziness because of their title or background. They are smart in one way because they know that someone will bail them out if they wait long enough. I like to refer to these lazy people as Workplace Lions.

I know you are already wondering why these folks are characterized as the mighty and powerful lion. Let me explain by sharing some facts about real Lions and related those facts to my concept of Workplace Lions:

Real Lion Fact:
Lions will usually let out load roars (usually done while sitting or lying down) to fend of intruders or show their dominance.

Workplace Lion Fact:
The Workplace Lion is mostly talk as they “roar” about themselves, what they need or what they want done. They very rarely actually get involved and do anything.

Real Lion Fact:
The Lion's mane makes his body appear larger and more impressive than it really is.

Workplace Lion Fact:
The Workplace Lion’s title, position, background and appearance may make them appear to be smarter or more effective. Peel back the fluff and you’ll see that they are not smart or effective at all.

Real Lion Fact:
Lions are rather lazy animals that spend much of the day sleeping (20 hours) under a tree.

Workplace Lion Fact:
The Workplace Lion may not sleep but is pretty much inactive for the majority of their workday. They’ll be spotted about every 2 hours wandering around the office looking, usually with no purpose whatsoever.
Real Lion Fact:
Lions many times feed on animals killed by other predators such as cheetahs and hyenas. Male Lions let the females do the hunting and live off of their kills (I know many women readers are probably nodding their heads at this one. LOL).

Workplace Lion Fact:
Unfortunately the Workplace Lion will be stealing your hard work and living off the rewards of your achievements.

Real Lion Fact
Male lions take no interest in the rearing of the young and, on occasion, may even try to kill them.

Workplace Lion Fact:
Your boss has no interest in developing you into a higher positions as they are too busy counting their money from their big paycheck. In some instances if you piss your boss off they’ll probably fire you.

Although many think of the Lion as this prestigious animal, the reality is that they are quite lazy and rely on others animals to survive. This is the essence of the Work Lion, relying on you to take on their work even though they are the ones that are supposed to be so damn powerful.

So how does a Turtle deal with a Lion? If your boss is a Work Lion, it will be difficult for you as there is no way around really avoiding their influence on you. A Turtle will do what is necessary, no more and no less, so just stick with that if you have a Work Lion boss.

If you are dealing with Work Lion co-workers, it is easier to deflect their advances and requests. As a Turtle you are much smarter then they are, you know it and they know it. If you allow their laziness to be your work you are promoting their Work Lion behavior. If a Work Lion for example asks you for help on their project or assignment, deflect their request with a comment like:

“Wow… I’m just really bogged down right now, if you can help me with my reports, the assignment Joe gave me, and the project I’m working on first, then I can swing on over to help get your assignment done. Teamwork pays off!” (Note: make sure to have a big smile while deflecting and pat the work lion’s shoulder at completion of comment)

The work lion, hearing your deflection request for help, will scurry away with their tale between their legs. Deflecting work help requests with your own work help requests is the best Turtle strategy to employ when dealing with Work Lions.

Feel free to post comments or drop me an email on any Work Lion experience you may have had.



Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home