Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why your VP is just like a Godfather


Tempting. Very tempting. It is like having a school bully to owe you a favor. Who would say "no" to you now? You have the biggest stick now! "You don't cooperate with me? I will talk to my VP!"

What people do not understand is that asking VP to solve your problems is like asking Godfather for a help. There are strings attached. More often in the end, you will wish to rewind the time to stay with your original problem.
You have found an unbelievable deal on iPad in your local store! You run there and buy one. You run home, unpack it and it does not work! The iPad does not work. Naturally, you want your money back. Do you go to the local "Godfather"?

I know what you are thinking: "But, my VP is such a nice guy".Well...
  1. When you present your case to the VP, do you know what he will say? The response might surprise you and not necessary for the good. What if he listens to you and to the other side, and decides that you are the one who is wrong? What if the Godfather decides that you don't get your money back? Are you prepared for this? What if the shop owner is his brother-in-law and you will have to pay him even more for the trouble?
    This leads to the second point:
  2. What do you do if you do not like the answer: "You don't get your money back!"
    What now? Do you go to police or a bigger boss (Senior VP)? Do you want to go to SVP with this problem? CAN you go to police with this problem?
  3. If you ask for decision, you comply with the decision. Today you went to VP and it worked. You have got what you've asked for. Next week, somebody else will ask VP to get something from you, instead of talking to you. Do you want this to happen? 
  4. You have asked him for a favor and now you owe him a favor. So, you have got your money back. All is good, until he asks you for a little favor: "You work in downtown, right? Please take this package to my friend there". Do you say no now? 
  5. Every ask for VP's help, it drains your power both in VP eyes and in eyes of others. Going "up" for a help, means that you cannot solve this issue alone.
    You draw a limit of your abilities by yourself!
    Next time, you will get less responsibilities, as everyone knows that you cannot solve such problems alone.
  6. You grow when you overcome obstacles. It has to be hard. If there is no pain, there is no gain. Bringing help reduces the pain, but it also takes away the gain.
  7. This is no fun.
    I loved playing Doom. It was so much fun. Up to a point where I've got to a level that I could not complete. I've wiped the level clean, but the boss. For some reason, I just could not kill them. Time after time, I've tried and failed. Tried and failed, tried and failed.
    Then, I've found a cheat for immortality. I have passed the level. The fun has passed as well. I don't think that I have ever completed Doom. It is no fun playing with cheats.
Not everything is bad about upper management thought. There are also good things about consulting with your VP:
  • get your problems solved quick
  • see higher-level view of the product
  • get to know more VPs, as usually they come in packs :) 
  • more exposure
  • feel more important
It is up for you to decide what to chose. Me? I always ask myself: "What would Keyser Soze do?"
If you look for me, I am busy solving my problems by myself...