Issue 13

It’s time for vacation…

Simona Bonghez
Managing Partner @ Colors in Projects

Gogu saw Chief entering the office and swallowed his line. Misu, with his back to the door, didn"t notice the movement and without any comment from Gogu, concluded:

- So you think that being boss went to his head?!

- Who are you talking about?! asked Chief. Hello, Chief to Misu, reception! He insisted towards a stiff Misu; only his narrowed eyes looking at Gogu were silently screaming for help. However Gogu ignored him and, looking at Chief, put another log on the fire:

- Come on Misu, don"t stay there as a shepherd, Chief asked you something! He smiled fondly under the mustache; Misu"s innocence was incredibly lovely and he couldn"t help but stoking him. Misu"s narrowed eyes past from silent pray to dumb reproach, which made Gogu burst out laughing:

- Before we tell you what this is all about, Chief, maybe you can clarify something for us. Misu"s eyes passed to fear. Hi-hi, the "we" part doesn"t comfort him at all, Gogu thought and continued:

- For two weeks we have been doing only alarm exercises, like if we are an emergency unit. We already dream who is responsible if a tender appears, who and to whom seeks clarifications, who jumps to a claim on the contracts in progress, who goes to what meeting, who can negotiate and to what extent. It only remains to determine what to do in case of nuclear attack, all the rest being already clarified. I think you can even go home at peace ... Oops! Zdrang, Gogu realized. Chief, are you preparing for vacation?!

- Well ... something like that, Chief smiled. You eventually got it, Gogu. All men must relax, even me. When are you going on vacation?

- Ha-ha ... as if I could leave! In the middle of the project?! With the phone ringing on the beach every 10 minutes?! My wife will kill me!!! I won"t go, Chief, not until the project is closed.

- So you"re saying that this summer you won"t take your wife and son to the beach, mountains, sun?! Big mistake, Gogu! It seems that you still need to learn a few things about management.

- What do you mean, Chief? You"re not satisfied with me? You never complained before about how I lead the projects... Gogu minded. And you stop staring at me, he rounded on Misu, who got it blameless. Poor Misu didn"t have a clue about what they were talking; he looked stunned at both of them, the line exchange had probably been too fast and somewhere along the way he lost the string. Chief looked accomplice to Misu (who still wasn"t getting anything and therefore didn"t understand the sense of Chief"s accomplice looks) and continued:

- Wait a minute, Gogu, don"t enflame yourself, no one here would ever doubt your ability to keep a project under control. But men live and learn...

So now we throw out of pocket the folk wisdom, Gogu thought but refrained from comment. He waited to see what follows.

- Think for a moment about what you"ve just said regarding the preparation of the department. I delegated both responsibilities and decision authorities for the majority of situations that may arise. Do you know how that helps? I"m leaving on vacation for two weeks! And I will not check my emails nor will I answer to any phone call. Do you know what the result will be?

- Yes, I"d fire you! Well no, the line was not said out loud; Gogu only thought of it and waited for Chief to continue; it was obvious that it was just a rhetorical question.

- I will sit quietly on the beach, I will savor every moment of the vacation, and here everything will run smoothly. He grinned satisfied, and Gogu, although pissed off, could only agree with him. Everyone knew what had to be done and for special situations Chief had taken care to clearly establish both responsibilities and decision boundaries.

- Well, yeah, Chief, but in projects things are different, he tried answering.

- Really? And how are they different? Chief smiled patiently. How about that, Misu, are things different in projects? he turned to their younger colleague. Gogu looked at Misu: well figure that, he regained his intelligent look, he thought while casting his classic "you"d better not comment!"gaze to Misu. But it seemed that junior didn"t like to owe anything to anyone so he ignored the dumb message form Gogu"s eyes and with noticeable satisfaction he replied to Chief:

- No, there"s no difference. Management is in both cases. The only difference is that you are much more experienced...

You snake! I grew up a snake at my breast, Gogu thought bitterly. But he noticed Misu"s playful tone and thankfully found out once again that, although slow to speak, Misu was doing just in time all the necessary connections. Maybe too many connections, I wouldn"t be surprised if soon he"ll start giving me lessons, he said to him; but he was proud of Misu rather than angry. This was felt also in the tone with which he said:

- That"s it, Misu, continue to brag, I have your request for leave. I don"t think I can approve it because I have no one else to replace me when I"m on vacation.

- Didn"t you say you"re not going?! How can the project manager leave in the middle of the project? Misu frightened.

- What did we discuss so far? A manager needs to relax at least once a year and if he"s really good then his absence won"t be felt. Because he knows how to delegate, right? Wait "till you see how being boss will go to my head...




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