3.01.2006

TIP: When a shortcut falls short

The meltdown at MassMutual Financial Group -- did it all happen because a woman fell into the trap of taking on that special role of Business Wife..., Speech Writer Jane Genova asked. ...Susan Alfano, MassMutual's top female executive was also the chief executive officer's confidant and support system. Was there romance involved? That hasn't been proved. But, that's really not relevant. What is relevant is that a woman got caught up in emotional hanky-panky. And, from my experience coaching and writing for senior executives, that always leads to trouble -- for everyone and the organization.

Call it The Special Relationship Brand.

Flattered by the invitation (usually implicit) to become a "real" insider and not stupid about the potential career opportunity involved, the woman assumes the identity the power-that-is wants her to have... Needless to say in the process, the female Zelig loses grip on her own identity. And probably also her confidence that she can get anything on her own. Colleagues notice The Special Relationship Brand getting promotions and perks... Resentment could explode in the form of some kind of whistle-blowing. Or, the end might come as it did at MassMutual with Special Relationship Brand's being forced out. Or, the even more common scenario, the organization folds, the woman doesn't have the up-to-date skills, confidence and contacts (hey, who doesn't know what when on or was assumed to have gone on) to land on her feet somewhere else...

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got > Opportunity vs Trap

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