Posts Tagged ‘corporate life


Trust and Tolerance

Someone told me that she just realized that I really do not trust people – I merely tolerate them. Hmmm…I never thought of that. I mean, I do trust people albeit only up to a certain safe extent. Like in lending money, for instance. If someone close to me asks for a loan, I make sure that the amount I lend is not more than what I am prepared to cover in case payment is delayed or defaulted.

And for this I was accused of not trusting but merely tolerating the anticipated worst-case scenario.

I remember this risk management seminar I took more than a decade ago. It taught us that risk has two dimensions: probability and magnitude. So in a four-quadrant matrix, risks are roughly classified as low-probability/low-magnitude (there’s a 5% chance that you’ll lose P5,000), high-probability/low-magnitude (there’s a 95% chance that you’ll lose P5,000), low-probability/high-magnitude (there’s a 5% chance that you’ll lose P100,000), and high-probability/high magnitude (there’s a 95% chance that you’ll lose P100,000).

I’d say I’m a risk taker even if the probability of losing is high for as long as the magnitude is low. But once a lot is at stake, I tend to play it safe, no matter how ‘safe’ they say the odds are.

In a certain company, the president explained the importance of credit security. The example he gave was about one sales executive who authorized the sale of goods worth a substantial amount without credit security because of the mutual trust he enjoys with the customer. The president said, “Okay, this customer is very trustworthy in terms of his ability and willingness to pay, and I take that. But what if he suddenly dies of a stroke, and the one who takes over the business is not as reliable?”

I guess we can only trust another person’s intentions, because if we try to consider the possible circumstances beyond that person’s control, e.g., a sudden stroke, we realize that we will be taking risks. However, if the calculated risks are deemed manageable and not unnecessary, it is never unwise to take them.

Perhaps I have unconsciously applied this business principle to my personal life. I do trust people, but only up to their intentions. If I foresee certain significant risks that were not explicitly considered by the person to whom I would be giving my trust, I back out. Unfortunately, sometimes people take it personally.

But some people do have the right to take it personally, especially the one I consider as my life partner, my ‘soulmate’. To hesitate when I think there might be risks unforeseen by the person demanding my trust could mean I don’t trust her judgment. I do trust her intentions; maybe just not her judgment. And in a way, that could mean I don’t trust her at all.

This may be a hard reality for me. But if it’s any consolation, I never totally trust anyone’s judgment – not even my own. I just tolerate and try to manage the calculated risks.

And so to the person who said that I don’t really trust her but merely tolerate her, let me say it this way: I trust you to the point that I can sleep soundly with you by my side with a loaded gun in your hand. Now there’s a risk that you’d have a nightmare of being attacked and so you’d shoot the ‘attacker’ – me, or out of simple clumsiness you’d accidentally fire the gun pointed in my direction. But while the magnitude of the risk is too high, the probability is very much lower than you leaving because you think I don’t trust you. Besides, the magnitude of the risk of losing you isn’t too far from the magnitude of the other risk involving a loaded gun in your hand. inner minds


The Boss

Rule # 1: The Boss is always right.
Rule# 2: When the Boss is wrong, refer to Rule # 1.

For as long as the order is not illegal, it is poor judgment to defy or even question the Boss. Because even if your immediate boss is not The Boss or the owner/chief executive of the company, you are answerable only to your direct boss, just as he/she is answerable only to his/her immediate boss. So if you think that a certain order is counterproductive and not in the company’s best interest, for as long as it is not illegal you must obey it, because whether it turns out to be a good or bad move, in the eyes of higher management credit and accountability belong to your boss, and you will be rated by your boss based on how closely you followed his/her instructions regardless of the result. You can point out the disadvantages of his/her plan though, especially if your opinion was sought, but your Boss has the final word.

That’s in the corporate world. Now for the spiritual world, a lot of people believe in a Big Boss up there. I do too. The only problem is we have not seen or heard from this Boss, and a lot of people claim that they have direct instructions from Him that we must follow lest we not only get fired from the company but also get fried for eternity.

In the corporate world, if the Boss is out of the country and a co-worker tells you that The Boss called him and gave instructions for you, if you follow him you will not be putting your trust in The Boss but in your co-worker, believing that what he said is true and didn’t maliciously make it up. However, you can verify this by calling The Boss long distance or by other means of communication. More commonly, before The Boss leaves the country he would make it clear who will be in charge during his absence or if he would be giving his future instructions through a certain person.

In the spiritual world, there was no endorsement from The Boss. However, some people claim that they are special representatives or ministers of The Boss, and sadly a lot of people quickly believe them for fear of damnation.

In the corporate world, even if you were so low in the organization that you don’t even know who the Big Boss is, as long as you are receiving your paycheck for doing what your immediate boss tells you, you know that you are working in a real company.

In the spiritual world, the ‘paycheck’ is eternal life – or more precisely, escape from eternal damnation. No one has ever seen this paycheck yet, but the fear of not receiving it at the end of earthly life scares a lot of people into believing and obeying whatever the ‘ministers’ say, including, “Give me your money because it will only weigh down your soul.” innerminds inner minds


The Company is Not a Family

I’ve read from The Dilbert Principle that a company, contrary to what some bosses try to impress upon their employees, is not a family. I see this in real life too. For one, a family does not kick a member out for breaking the Rules or because there is not enough food on the table. As long as the erring member seeks forgiveness it is almost always granted, and no matter how scarce the resources are, everyone gets to eat. So to those who have fallen for this management lie that you are a family, wake up and get real. You are only headed for a big disappointment.

Well considering that a lot of us spend most of our waking hours with our co-workers, I guess we sometimes do experience brotherly/sisterly bonding with them, and friendships like this often approach the level of family love. That is definitely true. Among co-employees, that is – not with the bosses. And perhaps the biggest mistake of it all is to develop a parental transference with your boss. (I guess it would be better to treat your boss like a god than a parent if you want your career to grow.)

Now speaking of bosses, perhaps a lot of you already learned from why you should never have your boss in Facebook:

Ah, so it seems that aside from treating your boss like a parent, it also isn’t a good idea to even consider them a friend. Or a Facebook friend.

The boss is the boss – not a parent, not a friend – and if one feels a warm kinship with them especially after work, one must never presume that the gap is already gone.

Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.