The Updated Trojan Horse in Your Organization
by James Henry McIntosh
Last month I was told to update my thinking. Specifically, my thinking about the Trojan horse.
I had explained to a group of leaders that although most people know the Greek legend of the Trojan horse, not many people know that at least one senior person in the hierarchy of Troy was suspicious of that horse. His name was Laocoon. We know that he was ignored.
In my years of working closely with top management teams, I have realized that there is almost always at least one person on the team who sees a trap where others see an opportunity. Often this person suffers the same fate as Laocoon: no one wants to heed the warning. Instead, he or she is often labeled unreasonable, pessimistic and so on.
When you consider a Trojan horse incident in your own organization, you can tell with hindsight that one of the following situations existed at the time:
A - No-one spotted the threat.
B - Someone did suspect something, but kept quiet.
C - Someone did suspect and did speak out, but was not heard.
D - Someone did suspect and was heard, but ignored.
No organization or team can be effective if any of the above four points apply to it. Obviously, it is difficult to do anything if no-one spotted the threat. But a key aspect of leadership is to make sure that every voice is heard and heeded. If not, then be ready to welcome a Trojan horse into your organization.
Well, that's when I was told to add a fifth point. Someone did suspect, was heard... and was fired for speaking out.
James Henry McIntosh may be contacted at http://www.nonsenseatwork.com firstname.lastname@example.org
James Henry McIntosh is the Chief Nonsense Officer for NonsenseAtWork.com. He advises executives on dealing with nonsense at work in the hope that this will make them, their teams and their organizations more effective. When this gets the better of him, he retreats to writing and public speaking until his confidence returns. He has been repeating this cycle for more than 20 years without seriously hurting anyone. Sign up for free newsletter on http://www.nonsenseatwork.com