The whiney middle manager quiz

Nov 28 2006 by Wayne Turmel Print This Article

My latest issue of "Whiney Middle Manager Magazine" came in the mail yesterday: of course it got to the loading dock last Thursday and took forever to get to me, but what else is new?

Yeah, the cover article, "10 Reasons The Sales Force Will Cost You Next Year's Raise" is interesting and the ads for headache relievers and acid reflux remedies (because, after all, they know their demographics) are helpful.

The real winner, though, was the monthly quiz. I figured I'd share it with you in the spirit of understanding and so you'll know what we managers really email each other during those monthly all-hands meetings you insist on holding...

1) Our company is serious about its diversity initiative because:

  • Outside voices help generate innovation
  • It's the right thing to do
  • It's good community relations
  • If we get used to seeing different people who look different from us we'll be more comfortable with the folks we've outsourced most of the work to

2) "Who Moved My Cheese?" is to business literature as:

  • "Aesop's Fables" is to morality tales
  • Parables are to scripture
  • "Dancing With the Stars" is to dancing - or stars

3) The word that best describes Human Resource's relationship with the company is:

  • strategic
  • integral
  • I can't say it in mixed company, but if there were corporate Viagra, I know who'd get the prescription
  • indispensable

4) Leadership training is a required part of all managers' development because:

  • We believe in growing people from within
  • Just on the off chance we see actual leadership, we'd like to recognize it
  • We want to spot the troublemakers early on, the darned showoffs
  • Everyone else is doing it

5) Our corporate vision statement most closely resembles:

  • a Fast Company article- very modern and slick
  • the Ten Commandments- written in stone and conservative
  • the top line of an optometrist's eye chart- I can read it, but it still makes no sense

6) Our company believes in training:

  • that is behavior-based
  • absolutely- as long as no one ever has to actually leave the job to do it
  • because it works for our German Shepherds, who at least know how to stay
  • because it's cheaper than actually fixing the root cause of the problem

7) Which statement most describes the attitude of your department:

  • We believe it's better to take action than to suffer analysis paralysis
  • Our mission, vision and values guide our every decision
  • We use a stage-gate process to ensure good decisions
  • The last decision our department was involved in was-"sausage or pepperoni?" and we wound up with mushroom anyway

8) The single biggest business challenge our company faces is:

  • Recruiting and retaining good people
  • Cubicles are the work of the devil
  • Staying ahead of the competition
  • The drugs on our medical plan are bought from Spam emails, so it's a good thing those filters don't work as well as they should

Give one point for each correct answer; deduct one for each incorrect answer. It really doesn't matter; we don't have the budget for prizes this year anyway. We're pretty sure it's IT's fault.

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About The Author

Wayne Turmel
Wayne Turmel

For almost 30 years, Wayne Turmel has been obsessed with how people communicate - or don't - at work. He has spent the last 20 years focused on remote and virtual work, recognized as one of the top 40 Remote Work Experts in the world. Besides writing for Management Issues, he has authored or co-authored 15 books, including The Long-Distance Leader and The Long-Distance Teammate. He is the lead Remote and Hybrid Work subject matter expert for the The Kevin Eikenberry Group. Originally from Canada, he now makes his home in Las Vegas, US.