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Gazing Into McChrystal Ball

(Alternatively titled: "A Rolling Stone gathers no boss" OR "Flat Stanley travels to Washington") General-stanley-mcchrystal  

General Stanley McChrystal learned a hard lesson about workplace behavior.  No matter how incompetent you think your boss is, you don't vent your ill will to a public source.  Recently, there was an article in the Des Moines Register about some locals who had lost their job because of Facebook.  I've had situations before where clients thought I was writing about them in my blog.  I assured them that while they may see themselves in the pages, I have a policy about not writing anything critical about an active client (besides, I have MANY past clients who provide me with ample fodder).

Sometimes, people think they are justified in bad-mouthing the boss.  In this soft-economy era, there are more and more stories about employers who have abused the relationship with their employees.  I know of one recently dismissed individual who could easily and justifiably go to the media to blow the whistle on his boss' inappropriate and unprofessional behavior, but he refuses... bad-mouthing the boss just comes back to haunt you.

Granted, I've broken this rule myself throughout my career.  And I've paid for it.  And I've learned from it.  I'm fortunate now that I can be selective in my project choices, and I've learned to tell good client managers from bad client managers through the interview process.

So if you think YOUR boss is a complete schmoe, just remember what poor ol' Stanley is going through this week.  Then watch yourself before you let your inside voice play outside.


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Pablo Edwards

Well played on the selected title!

Ms Admin

You are so correct! I never use names when being critical thereby allowing me to protect the guilty (and my association with them).

Just a reminder to NOT discuss anything confidential or negative in a public place. Last week a friend and I went to a neighborhood restaurant, sat in our usual corner booth so I could fill her in on my workplace dilemma --- only to have four, yes that's 4!, coworkers wander in w/family and friends for dinner. Even our very hushed conversation promptly ended.

P.S. I believe there's more to "The McCrystal Story" than what's being told -- but you know, I trust no media outlet.

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