Dog Eat Dog

My manager is the General Counsel of the company. That’s almost always the highest ranked legal person in an organisation. In my organisation however, there is an executive above the GC. My boss the GC reports to this executive, who also has a legal background.

I’ve always felt it strange that such a structure exists. The executive role was a newly created one. It wasn’t in place when I joined this organisation. When it was created, I thought my boss would seek appointment to the role. That didn’t happen and this executive came on board.

Many things have changed since. For sure, my boss is almost certainly more stressed. That stress factor certainly got elevated today.

For some time now the company has been on the periphery of a royal commission hearing into union behaviour that is now under way. There has been some allegation of mishandling of personal information, and also allegation of privacy law breaches. Naturally my boss has been all over this issue.

For an executive team meeting this morning the executive had asked my boss to prepare and present a memo on the status of the commission hearing. So my boss dutifully prepared and presented the paper. Apparently, one of the executives thought that paper was an utter waste of time and the executives need not have that paper presented.

My boss’ boss kept quiet and did not respond to that feedback/remark. How could you instruct a subordinate to prepare a paper and present it, sat in a meeting where it was presented by your subordinate and kept quiet when there was a question as to why the paper was thought necessary and it had been a waste of time?

It would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall when a discussion (between my boss and that executive) eventually takes place to walk through what happened. I think this goes straight to the keeper, any future talks about integrity and team work and resilience and all those types of threads would ring hollow.