“Humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.” - Cesar Millan

“There is a kind of heroism for which there are no medals because it is unmentionable. It is that of the subordinate stoically following a leader whom he knows is taking him to disaster.”
- Huntford

What do you owe the person who is paying your salary? Your best work? The quantity of work that you feel they are paying for? The quality of work you feel that they deserve?

My first formal performance review in years was more abstract than concrete. Crying the economy, there was truly no chance of any raise. With money off the table, and no chance of any promotion in a horizontally-organized small business, the review was an exercise in negotiating expectations on both sides.

My review was quite good - overall better than I expected, because management freely admits that they are never satisfied. But the one thing they want me to do is to play to the owner, to manage his view of me. I’m ruminating on that today. If I’m doing the work but the owner doesn’t think so, is there a sound? If I play to him but don’t respect him, what does that mean? We’ve got a standoff here - both of us waiting to the other to prove their worth.

Since I have to leave anyway . . . . my coach says management is “abusive and narcissistic;” my guides say I was there to learn about how people abuse their power - and that I’ve learned the lesson and can get out of there at any time. (For a long time I worked for someone who was truly abusive, a screaming, bipolar genius whom I at least respected and learned from.)

Since I have to leave anyway, do I put the effort in so they’ll be more sorry to see me leave? Where do I put my energy?

The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)