Celebrating Diversity: Company Promotes First Openly Incompetent Manager To Vice President

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Austin, TX — After years of openly discriminating against incompetence, Global Dynamics this week finally became a large enough company that it promoted an openly incompetent manager to Vice President.

Victoria Hernandez, HR Specialist, offered these words, “Here at Global Dynamics, we value all points of view, whether they are informed or not.  We cannot express how proud we are to promote Ted Smith to Vice President, Corporate Deskside Services.  All of his professional life, until he came to GD, he had to face open discrimination or even hostility due to his overt incompetence.  Today is a triumph for Ted, for GD, and frankly for America.”

Ted, the new VP of CDS, addressed his staff in an all hands meeting that left everyone in the room confused and uncomfortable.

“Welcome.  Welcome.  Today, I find myself in the corner office.  I have financial approval for up to $500,000!  Can you believe it?  We are going to do such great things here.  I’ve got a great plan.  A secret plan.  I read in a book several years ago that great leaders draw things out of their people.  My first act as your VP is to challenge you to guess what my plan for greatness is.  There’s a really neat prize for whoever is able to outline to me in great detail exactly how we are going to reduce costs by 30% over 3 years without firing anyone.  Can you guess it?  I bet you can’t!  But the fun will be in you trying.

Most new VP’s would get up here and talk about their plans, their abilities.  I’m not going to do that.  Heck, I’m just a normal guy.  I’m not even the smartest in the room!  That’s not why I am where I am.  It took me a long time to “come out of the closet” on that.  Most senior leaders want you to think they know it all.  Not only do I not know it all, I don’t even know much of it.  That’s why all of you great people are here — to make me look good!

Also, I regret to announce that pens will no longer be available.  You’re on your own.  But hey, it’s pens.  You can just hop on down to a gas station and get one!  Oh, and about laptops.  Well, let’s not talk about those, ok?  Let’s all just take a moment and celebrate that I’ve been promoted.  After all, that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?

You know, I have a friend who used to be in the Marines.  He was a great guy.  Great stories.  He used to talk about taking this hill.  I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was always really inspiring.  So I’m telling you guys now, we are going to take that hill!  This is our fourth down, hail mary pass to take the hill.  And you can do it.  I believe in you.  I have to believe in you.  If we don’t figure out how to downsize in 6 months, I’m toast.  So let’s all take the hill together!  We can do anything with teamwork!”

Staff Reaction

“Well that was…different,” said Molly Dresden, a long-time employee.  “I understand the need for diversity, but do we really need this kind of diversity?  Couldn’t we have promoted a black incompetent?  Or even, heaven forbid, a woman incompetent?”

Some found the honesty refreshing.  “Like we’re the first ones to have an incompetent VP.  Please.  When are we going to get beyond discriminating against these people?”

Others questioned the value of incompetence in a business setting at all.  Human resources quickly responded by reminding everyone of the value of inclusion as well as the threat of lawsuits.

Most others decided that their new VP wouldn’t change what they do or how they do it on a daily basis and just carried on.

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