Have you heard about the Brotherhood of Managers?
I found a piece of writing to share. It is pretty 'out there'. Fasten your seat belts.
I am releasing some extracts on the blog here, and the whole book (PDF) will be given for free (yes, I have the rights to do so) to those who subscribe to buildcareerskillss.com (click on the image)
FROM THE INTRODUCTION:
Do you suffer from the desire to be successful? Do you aspire to a great career? A job in management with a six-figure salary, gold frequent flyer card and an expense account? If so, reading this book may be the worst thing you can do. It is a dangerous book if you aspire to be a successful manager. The knowledge that you may acquire is a classic double-edged sword: you gain the knowledge but you lose the option of failure.
After reading it, you will have no more excuses to fail in the corporate world. I shall reveal the secrets of the Brotherhood of Management. I am the magician who breaks ranks with his colleagues and cohorts and reveal the secret inner workings. I will show what is behind the ‘curtain’ – what really happens in those meetings behind closed doors.
But let me warn you. This book does not contain The Answer. There is no ‘Next Big Thing’. I am not a wannabe consultant here to sell you the next buzzword dressed up as a panacea. It is not a one-chapter book that has ten chapters. It is not padded with pithy examples of why the world needs the next sexy concept.
For at least three decades our prophets and disciples have published the gospel of the Brotherhood and converted so many of you to believe in the Corporation.
You have been led to believe that it is for the common good. To be passionate. Focus. Adding value. To live your life according the mission statement – to abide by our vision. To align your goals with ours. Synergy. Team work. Everything you thought was good and pure turns out be a gigantic crock of shit.
This message may not be what you want to hear, as the truth is seldom pleasant. The two most likely responses are firstly, denial: ‘What a load of crap’. Or you can get aboard the motorboat of scepticism: ‘But, but, but, but…’
Once you have digested it, you may well realise that it may be what you always suspected or it may even be what you feared. You may be disappointed for living your life believing in the magic, which is now proven to be scoundrel’s trick. Whichever way, after reading this you will know the truth.
It will be easy to dismiss all this as contrarianism simply for the sake of it. The Brotherhood is a seductive and destructive taskmaster. It seduces you with its rewards, but it can destroy your soul in the process. In some ways those people who lack the talent, ambition or willingness to compete on the capitalist treadmill are perhaps blessed in ways that the rest of us do not appreciate.
Even as I climb the corporate ladder, I struggle to reconcile my work, my place in society and my destiny with the environment I find myself in. I struggle to keep faith in the validity and centrality of the marketplace. I recoil from the massive fraud that is perpetuated upon unwitting employees under the name of management. Yet as a trained manager I participate in that activity willingly – even excelling occasionally. But enough is enough.
There was no sudden revelation, but rather a gradual dawning of the horrible truth. As I sat in more meetings, participated in more projects and went through the stages of company lifecycles, the truth emerged as an ugly monster. When God expelled Adam and Eve form the paradise, He meted out a punishment that few realise the extent of. On the other side of the paradise wall is where hell is.
The moral philosopher Denis Kenny explains the dilemma we face clearly.
“…(T)he most formidable obstacle we face (…) is the imperial ambition of the global market…(T)he new secular religion of the invisible hand of the global market, promising universal salvation, is preached relentlessly and imposed ruthlessly…This rapidly expanding empire is…rapidly creating a monocultural wasteland in which only one value, the cash nexus, will prevail.”
I wish I had said that.
The dilemma I find myself in is that I am at once a private sceptic but a public disciple of the new religion of the open market economy. I am not a closet communist or frustrated leftie – on the contrary. If capitalism did not provide benefits to a majority on wide scale it would not have succeeded as widely as it has. I am concerned about the lack of (serious) debate that this new cosmology has elicited – the unwitting acceptance of its predicates and principles. Kenny refers to mankind as preferring “the less demanding role of a creature submissive to idols of its own making”. What a sad indictment of humanity that is.
Managers are the whores working the Temple of Capitalism, plying their trade on innocent passers-by, seducing them with money, fame and a sense of accomplishment. All the while paying their dues to the Pimp of Productivity.
Strangers (and sometimes even enemies) who have been thrown together by the vagaries of chance in so-called teams are not natural. But that is the way it is. And at the vanguard of the open market economy are the managers; desperately trying to control the beast created by entrepreneurs.
It gets pretty juicy later on. Be sure to put the blog in your RSS feed, or subscribe at career builder site and get the whole thing. (I have to still complete some formatting to make it available in PDF, so it should be ready later today, but subscribe anyway by clickin on the image below.)