A Leadership Training Story!

“My boss trashtalks about me to my coworkers”

“My boss micromanages”

“She has trust issues”

“She doesn’t delegate”

“My boss doesn’t allow calls at work”

“My boss is adamant on time -track”

“My boss peeps into my laptop every time he walks past me”

“My boss bugs the office. She has put cameras and recorders”

“She prefers male workers. Doesn’t promote females”

“She is eager to know about others”

“My boss is dumb and egoistic”

Do you have one of these bosses? Are you afraid that you are going to become one like this? Do you want to avoid becoming a boss who’s disliked and underproductive?

It is a cold Monday morning. People dressed up in formal and semi-formal attires are gathered in a conference room at crown plaza, Bangalore.

“Yet another training program” a guy dressed up in grey inexpensive suit says to a redheaded woman.

“ Yes. I begged to my company for not sending me here. Cannot take one more PPT on effective leadership” Says her to the stranger.

“True that. I wanted to send my subordinate, but he called in sick this morning” Somebody added to that.

The trainer walks in with a mike. He takes a look at the audience and senses the lethargy in the room.

He says “Well, we will not have any formal introductions. I do not want to know which company sent you here and I prefer you not sharing personal details with each other. This definitely cannot be a social mingling event.” He smiles at the crowd.

All of a sudden he has the crowd’s attention. It is not everyday that you get to hear something like this. Normally, corporate leadership training events are boring. Nobody cares about it, nobody becomes a leader by attending it, but everybody mingles and exchanges business cards. Other than that, you practically get nothing from it. And now this guy asks not to exchange cards! Strange.

And that’s exactly what the redhead sighed aloud “Strange”

People looked at her. Her hair seemed really bright.

The trainer smiles. “Okay, this might sound strange to you. But you are here not for a training program, but for complaining about your work place. That is what I want. That is what you get for paying me the money. A conference room full of strangers to listen to your work problems. How does that sound?’’

The crowd looks shocked. They look at each other. Now the trainer definitely has their undivided attention.

“Let’s not delay it” He continues.

Pindrop silence!

“Anybody got anything they don’t like at their work place?” He tries to push the crowd.

Silence!

The trainer smiles again. His attention goes to the readhead.

“Well Ma’am, since we don’t take any names here, we’ll name each other with colors. You are Ms. Red, if you don’t mind.”

She gets up “ Sure, Red it is then. A little color-play will not hurt” She smiles

“So Red, tell me, how is your hair color working out for you at office? People like it?” The trainer asks.  

“Hahaha. I’m Indian. I’m brown. I have colored my hair cherry red entirely. Do you think it works out well? Ofcourse not. My superiors hate it. With the “Me too” and all, they are just patient

The crowd laughs.

“How are they in general? Your bosses? Colleagues?” The trainer asks innocently.

“My boss doesn’t trust me with work. He micromanages all the time, other than that I am good” finishes the sentence with a shrug.

The crowd laughs again.

“Sure, micromanaging. That is simple.” The trainer smiles. “Anybody else? Sir, in blue shirt? He asks.

“Oh I am Blue then I guess?” The guy laughs timidly, rises from his seat and look at the crowd “ Well, My boss wants to know where I go & what I do”

“That is nothing. My boss peeps into my laptop every time he walks past me” Somebody from the crowd yells.

“The open office trap? That sucks” Somebody else adds on.

“My boss doesn’t allow calls at work. Which century she is living in, I wonder.” Somebody comments.

“My boss is adamant on time track and work sheets”

“And what is that term? Micromanaging? It is just a fancy term for insecure bosses”

“Yes, I agree. And what do you feel about those reports? Never ending long reports you prepare without sleep and nobody reads?” Somebody pitches in.

“My boss peeps into my laptop every time he walks past me. I am not a fresher, senior manager, for God’s sake”. A guy in plaid shirt shouts.

“My boss bugs the office. She has put cameras and recorders. Can you believe that? “ Red adds and the crowd gawks at her in disbelief.

She prefers male workers. Doesn’t promote females”

“She is eager to know about others”

“My boss is dumb and egoistic”

Now that people have started, they are not stopping …

The trainer smiles at the crowd knowingly. Just like he knew this was going to happen.

 He asks  “ Now tell me honestly, how many of you do not want to be like your bosses?”

Almost everybody raises their hands

“How many of you want to manage your subordinates beautifully and earn their respect?”

Now everybody raises their hands

He says loudly “ I thought so”

“How many of you know how to do that?”

Nobody said anything.

“How many of you thought you do not need leadership training?”

Everybody raised hands again.

“Who all think that they really require it now?”

Everybody smiles and raises their hands.

Red nods. She laughs loudly. Now she has that ‘I got you’ look.

So, this was your plan all along? To make us say that we needed the training?

The trainer smiles. And he asks “ Would you have accepted if I said that you needed it?”

Ofcourse not” Red smiles. One more question, will you keep the entire session as interesting, productive and useful just like this? Red asks. The trainer smiles and he says “ Yes! Welcome to Redcan’s Leadership Interactive Training Experience”!!!

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