Man about town

Job opportunity calls after bad feedback


It is the start of the year and already the CEO is working us too hard. At the end of last year he said that he felt that we do not deliver the right results because we do not spend enough time planning. He then added that he would be convening a “planning conference” for us to agree on what we want to achieve in the year.

I have been in this company long enough to know that “what we want to achieve” really means, “what the CEO wants to achieve.” I have also been here long enough to know that the best way to handle such situations is to go along with whatever the CEO wants- he is the boss.

The planning conference happened last week and I must admit it was quite useful. During breakfast, some employees were murmuring wondering why the company had to pay so much money for the conference to be told what they already knew. This was news to me and so I asked; “how much did we pay?” Some lady from finance said; “in total we have paid over Sh4 million. The CEO has even flown in facilitators some from South Africa, others from the UK.”

This started some back and forth conversation which to be honest was making me somewhat uncomfortable. This is because staff were going on about how wasteful the CEO is and how he likes to spend on unnecessary things like “ new paintings and funny gadgets.” I have also been here long enough to realise that CEOs will do whatever they please just because they are the bosses-opinions of people at our level do not count for much.

I made a mental note to make the most of the planning conference and find out more about the facilitators. As usual the staff stories were right- we had about four facilitators who worked with us to help us ‘develop concrete plans for our business.”

To get us started, they asked us to complete two questionnaires, which were bordering on psychometric tests, to gauge how well we are suited to the next part of the ‘transformational journey.” They promised to provide us with one-on-one evaluations at the end of the conference.

I must say the conference was actually quite good and the facilitators made learning so easy. It was interesting to watch the same employees who had been whining about the cost making copious notes and asking numerous questions on various topics. However, the main benefit for me was at the end of the conference when one of the facilitators sat down with me to give me the results of my evaluation.

The guy’s name was William and he spent some time telling me about their methodology and how to use the results to improve. The positives he gave me were rather vague about how good I am at “contributing to the team” and in “ business analytics.” It is the negatives that were bothersome as he said that I “procrastinate a lot” and tend to be a “people pleaser.”

This feedback is similar to what Amisi my lifecoach and Shiro have said. William gave me what he said are “ useful tips to help me improve.” At the end of the conference our CEO gave a presentation that summarized what we need to achieve this year and from the look and sound of things we have our work cut out for us.

As I was leaving the conference, I could not help but keep mulling over the comments from my assessment- I really need to work on improving myself. My thoughts were interrupted by a call from an unknown number. It turns it that it was recruiter who wanted to interest me in an opportunity. I had to park on the side of the road so that I could have a meaningful conversation-no procrastination this time.