Rule 86: Be on the right side of the people who count

Nigeria’s Event Management Expert, Temmie Amodu of  Decor-Kobo Rentals Ltd 
So
how do you think I got on with Harry after my outburst?  Our relationship was bad beforehand. Now it
positively stank.  Do you think I could
get a light bulb changed?  No way, not
now, not ever.  Identifying the people who
count and being on the right side of them go hand in hand, obviously.

I
once worked with an auditor who was a complete you-know-what.  Everything had to be done by the book.  Every I dotted and t crossed.  This man would have made Attila the Hun look like a charity worker.  But this was a man who counted.  Not only was he the auditor, he seemed to
have juice far beyond his role as an accountant.  This was a man the senior management bowed
to, listened to, sought advice from, dared not cross; were in fear of and they
generally treated him like royalty.


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I
never quite got to the bottom of why he wielded so much influence but I had to
work with it.  And once I had indentified
him I had to get on the right side of him. 
I hadn’t been up to then.  As
finance manager my department came under his scrutiny constantly and closely.

“There is a group of
people you should watch out for – they often have unaccountable juice – which includes:
drivers, auditors, PR people, Human Resources people, Pas, people who have been
with the company for a very long time, outside consultants, free agents,
ex-employees and of course maintenance people!”

I
had upset him at every step along the way. 
We didn’t see eye to eye.  He was
an accountant and I was a finance manager – there is quite a difference. My   brief was to install security systems,
improve cash flow, cut costs, and tighten all fiscal procedures. His was to
audit every penny.
I
took my kids to a jumble sale one Saturday
morning.  It was autumn and I felt cold so I bought a college scarf at the
jumble.  You know the sort, stripy, dark,
and traditional.  On Monday I wore it
into work.  I bumped into the auditor in
the corridor. ‘Ah,’ he said ‘I didn’t know you went to Manchester University. 
Well done’.
  And he walked
off.
I
hadn’t a clue what he was talking about until it dawned on me that the scarf
was a Manchester University
scarf.  This was the university the
auditor had gone to (no, I hadn’t gone thee, or to any university) and from
then on he accepted me as one of his own, a chum, an old college pal.  I could do no wrong.
This
was an accident.  Since then I have engineered
such incidents to get on the right side of the people who count, the ones who
have influence who shouldn’t.  These are
the ones who have juice incommensurate with their position or job.
There
is a group of people you should watch out for – they often have unaccountable
juice – which includes: drivers, auditors, PR people, Human Resources people,
Pas, people who have been with the company for a very long time, outside
consultants, free agents, ex-employees and of course maintenance people!
 (Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to deal
with new management techniques”
from The
Rules
tomorrow on Asabeafrika)










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