Don’t get too close… or too far.

17 12 2013

“A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.” ~Albert Pike

 I would say the same regarding relationships with your subordinates.  Those who have worked with me for a while know that, while I love to have fun with my team during the day, I do keep you all at arm’s length from a social perspective.  I’m not much for having after-work drinks, or having a social life with my team (i.e. dinner parties, etc.).  This isn’t out of aloofness or introversion.  It’s so that I can treat all of my team fairly, without anyone having a sense of favoritism based on after hours, personal relationships.

 When I was in the Army, it was military policy that when promoting a soldier to a Non-Comissioned Officer (NCO – i.e Corporal or Sergeant – think front-line manager), that new NCO was transferred immediately to another unit.  This was so that the guy that the old unit called Jim could go to another unit and start out being called Sergeant Craig, with the full authority of his position, without having the soldiers in  his unit knowing all of his dirty laundry from those crazy drunken soldier parties, etc.   In this way,  the groundwork has been laid for a professional, cordial relationship going forward.

 Speaking of Freezing…

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Rubes Cartoons used with permission.  www.rubescartoons.com

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