Friday, December 30, 2016

Leaders Matter

A little over 15 years ago I was doing some research for my brother John who was a Quad (Stem cell research) and came upon a great Institute that wanted to change humanity and cure cancer.  It was led by a great man who had a dream.  I wanted to be a part of that dream which just so happened to be located in the heart of KC.

 I clicked on the Careers tab and as luck would have it there was a position in the Telecommunication field - a field that I was just starting in.  I applied along with nearly 100 others (Sprint had just had a massive lay off back then).  I really did not have the qualifications for the job but I did have the desire to be a part of this great Institute.  Through persistence I got an interview and 2 months later was offered the position.  I was so thrilled and ready to begin a new chapter of my life.  I thought at the time that I could help the Institute for the rest of my life and be a part its great cause.

The next 8 years were awesome.  The Institute invested in my career, I worked hard and enjoyed being part of this great Institute.  Fellow members had smiles on their faces and worked well together.  We got things done and we were making a difference.

When things are good at work you do not realize how important leaders are.  You take for granted how all the teams are working well together, how they share ideas and work hard together as a team. I was part of a very good team that, at least in my eyes, contributed to the success.  

Then things started to change.  A new CEO & COO came in with new policies.  We go from a culture that worked together to fight this monster called Cancer to a corporate culture based on greed, money, who's ass you need to kiss and nepotism at the highest level.  It was not about science anymore which is very sad.

The next several years things slowly changed for the worse.  The hierarchical structure that was created just did not work and "bad managers" took advantage.  For example, directors hired their old babysitter to work at the Institute - just an FYI, babysitters do not know anything about project management nor construction.

You know there is a problem when management start to test new technology, the technology that you support, and you are not involved.  They can not get it to work but they do not even ask for your advice (even though you know how).    

After 15 years of dedication and hard work my department was "absorbed".  Nothing in the budget for me or the services I supported - The "Cloud" and the new poisoned culture had ended my career.