Hello, and congratulations to approximately 51% of you – your guy won the election! I don’t know about you, but elections always inspire me. For months and months we get to listen to people tell us groundbreaking things like “poverty is bad” and “children are good” and “I like living in America”. We wait breathlessly for each debate so that our political candidates can tell us how they would improve the job market or fix health care or reduce the deficit, subjects so complicated and important that they spend two entire minutes on each of them!
Anyway, in honor of our country’s recent elections, I want to use our elected officials as role models. After all, Congress is only slightly less popular than the idea of contracting an intestinal parasite, and I think with a little bit of hard work and dedication on your part, you could be just as amazing as they are.
Idea #1: Tell People Only What They Want to Hear, Even if it Contradicts Something Else You Said Earlier! This time-honored technique will help you in two ways. First, it will help you avoid as many potential conflicts as possible. Your colleagues might be doing something terrible, unethical, unproductive, or potentially company-destroyingly bad, but at least you won’t have to be the one to hurt their feelings by telling them so. And second (and more importantly), this will also help you convince your colleagues that you have no strong convictions about anything – and if there’s a more important quality for a leader to have, I don’t know what it is.
Idea #2: Disagree with EVERYTHING EVERYONE ELSE SAYS! I put that last bit in all caps so you would appreciate how important it is. In the history of human interactions, there has almost never been a time where one side was 100% correct and the other side was 100% incorrect. But that shouldn’t stop you from shooting down every single idea that everyone else has. Do it for long enough, and people might just help you get promoted to another department so they never have to see you again – a win-win for everyone!
Idea #3: Spend All of Your Energy on Accomplishing as Little as Possible! It is amazing how much work a politician can accomplish when they want to see their opponents’ ideas fail. They are tireless in their TV appearances, social media posts, op-ed articles, and other forms of vituperative vituperativeness. But when they have to, say, resolve a big giant fiscal cliff in 5 weeks or so, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll decide to push the issue off for another few months. Besides, do you have any idea how hard collaboration is? And what if the people you collaborate with end up getting more credit than you do? That can’t be allowed to happen! Better to get nothing done at all!
There you go, folks. Follow in the footsteps of these giants, and soon you can have your colleagues eating out of the palm of your hand – or handcuffing your hands together and escorting you forcibly from the building. I’m not exactly sure which one will happen. Try it and find out!