Leadership Skills

Dennis sat in his office and turned a page.

He was halfway through the chapter in the latest of necessary reading – How To Succeed In The Executive’s Chair – when someone knocked on the door.

“Hey boss,” Andrea said.

“Hey Andrea, come in come in,” Dennis closed the book, keeping his finger in his place. “How can I help you?”

“Well, I was thinking. I know the lead executive managing director position just opened up, and though the position hasn’t been posted yet…I’d like to apply.”

“Of course, you’d be great in that position.”

“Thanks, sir. I was wondering, though, if you’d be willing to act as a reference for it.”

Dennis frowned, setting the book on the table in front of him and folding his hands. Too late, he remembered that he hadn’t put his bookmark in, but the place was already lost. He frowned at it, then remembered where his attention was supposed to be.

He looked up at Andrea and sighed. “Well, the only issue is that I’m on the hiring committee for the position, Andrea.”

“I know, sir. But I was speaking with Bob over in Finance, and he mentioned that you had said you would be a reference for him.”

“Did I?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Oh, right. I suppose I did. Still, Bob is the managing director of Finance, Andrea, and you’re a manager of Payroll. I think I’ll have to give my reference to the managing director, as that’s a position I deal with more directly.”

“But sir, you started in Payroll, and you know my quality of work. What’s more, I was the one who fixed all of the errors in the system when Bob insisted he had the switch handled. I was the one here for more than 90 hours that week, getting everything running smoothly again. You know I can do this, and do it well. You’ve routinely praised my leadership abilities.”

“I know, Andrea, but as I say, Bob is just a little higher up than you.”

“With all due respect, sir, that’s only because you created a new level of management for him last month.”

“I did, yes. We needed someone to…well, manage the managers of Finance. So, you know, it needed to be done.”

“Isn’t that your job?”

“Kind of, but it’s more complicated than that, Andrea.”

“Right, of course. Well, if you can act as a reference, just to, you know, give me at least a little bump, that’d be wonderful.”

Dennis sighed. “Yeah, I suppose so. I’ll get a letter written for you, at least.”

“Thanks boss.”

Dennis nodded and went back to his book, trying to find where he had left off.

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