- Jul 28, 2010
Walk Your Talk
Rob had the walk (Rule 18: Develop a Style That Gets You Noticed), but unfortunately he didn't adhere sufficiently to the number one rule—he didn't know the job well enough. He looked right, sounded right, but the bottom line was—he couldn't do the job as well as he should have done. I was brought in over his head because they couldn't sack him—having just promoted him it would have looked bad—and they needed someone to oversee his work so that his errors could be rectified quickly. Rob had reached the level of his own incompetence and stayed there for several years neither improving nor particularly getting worse—just looking good and walking right. He eventually shuffled himself off sideways into running his own business—a restaurant. This failed shortly afterward because he forgot Rule 2: Never Stand Still—or maybe he never actually knew it. He carried on walking like a manager instead of a restaurateur. His customers never really took to him.
By practicing the general manager's walk, I got the promotion, but I also got it because I paid great attention to doing my job well—Rule 1. Once in this new job I was, of course, completely out of my depth. I had to quickly learn not only my new role and all its responsibilities, but also the position below, which I had not really held. I had stood in for managers but I had never been a manager—now I was the manager's manager. I was in great danger of falling flat on my face.