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A special relationship is not enough

There is consensus that no-decision managers have a special relationship with their boss to survive in the long term. But this on its own is not enough.

It was my eighth no-decision manager who revealed that more was necessary. He had special relationships with his boss’s boss and many people in the headquarters of the company, even though it was in a different continent from where he worked. He used these people to set up a magnificent informal network in the company to promote himself as an excellent manager, (which of course he was not) and to find people to make decisions in his place.

I then looked back and checked on my experiences with my first two no-decision bosses to see if they had put in place something similar. At the time I despised these two so much, that I was blind to any qualities they might have had. I was too involved in coping with my own frustration to consider they were anything other than incompetent managers. But when I examined some of the things they did and what I heard, I realised that their reputations in the company, especially in headquarters was excellent. One of them had just been promoted, so he must have been doing something right to get it. I also now realise that they both knew many people in the company and whenever I had the chance to talk about my bosses with them, these people thought my two bosses were great managers, while I thought the opposite.

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