Rule 57: Know the rules about authority

Nigeria’s Abuja based Female Politician and Philantropist,  Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo

Who
runs your office? I bet it ain’t the boss. 
Bosses tend to closet themselves away in their ivory office, leaving the
real job of running the business to someone else.  Your job is to identify this person and stay
on the right side of them.

I
have worked for companies where the real power resided in the hands of a PR
consultant, a legal secretary, an auditor, a customer and a junior
manager.  In each and every case, the
reason why this particular person was really in charge was that they:
·                   
Had
the ear of the boss
·                   
Were
trusted by the boss
·                   
Carried
out a subtle whispering campaign rather than saying anything outright or up
front
·                   
Had
been there quite some time
·                   
Were
motivated entirely by power and control
·                   
Were
invariably unpleasant enough to use various tactics to get their own way – no
matter what
·                   
Were
extremely clever, but lacking the experience, qualifications or skill to
actually do the job properly.
In
each case, once I had made a friend of these people I got on better. To begin
with I didn’t spot them immediately. This always caused me problems. I would go
to the boss and only later be made to realize I had committed a gaffe by doing
so – ‘oh everything goes through Sarah
first’
, ‘I’ll just run it by Janine first to see if she thinks it
a good idea’, ‘Do you want to check this
out with Trevor and come back to
me?’.
 

“I HAVE
WORKED FOR COMPANIES WHERE THE REAL POWER RESIDED IN THE HANDS OF A PR
CONSULTANT, A LEGAL SECRETARY, AN AUDITOR, A CUSTOMER AND A JUNIOR MANAGER”.

I
soon learnt to go to the person who had the ear of the boss first.  Play the game with them and don’t make an
enemy of them.  They are the real
authority and you should pay them homage. 
I know it ain’t fair and you hate it, but until a better system comes
along we have to work with what we’ve got.
(Excerpts from THE
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “Knowing the rules about the office hierarchy” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)



Rule-to-Work Series










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