Category Archives: Business lifestyle

Tips on lifestyle for business people.

Case study of Henrique de Castro

Henrique de Castro is one of the most qualified people in the world of management consulting and as a management consultant myself I have always admired him. He is originally from Portugal and received his MBA from the very prestigious IMD in Switzerland. Like most of us, he started his career at a management consulting firm, in his case, McKinsey, the finest. From there, he moved on to Dell, Google, and Yahoo.

Now, I have repeatedly written about the mess that Yahoo has been in for over a decade now. My belief is that it will be nearly impossible to save the company in its current form. So, in a desperate attempt, Marissa Mayer fired de Castro. Fair enough.

Well, it is interesting to watch how ugly things can get. de Castro was not born yesterday. He is a seasoned businessman, but look what an ex-colleague told The Times, “…was fond of using spreadsheets but was weak in his knowledge of Google’s products.” Amanda Richman, president of investment and activation at Starcom USA, used even more mumbo-jumbo to trash him, saying, “Henrique wasn’t as market-facing as his predecessors or competitors.” Ouch! It gets worse. The Times calls him “…not a charismatic salesman willing to schmooze with Madison Avenue marketers.” As if he is a recent graduate of a community college. His ex colleagues tell the paper that “…he was a poor communicator with an arrogant, abrasive manner.” A guy who has made most of his professional living working in English is described now by some of his associates as “hard to understand.” So many people are now piling on him that NYT reports that things were so bad at Google that HR got involved after too many complaints from employees.

Boys and girls, it seems that there is a war out there in the workplace. Be careful. There are so many hungry lions ready to eat you alive.

I work with a colleague from hell

John writes “I work with a woman who is controlling, evil, bitchy, back stabbing, hates men, manipulates, wants to be the center of attention, refuses to do the work when work is involved, goofs off, is always disrespectful of me, but tries to turn it around and say that I am disrespectful. She is just plain evil. I have tried everything from talking to other people and professionals, etc. Nothing I do works. She is un-cooperative at work, won’t help and offers every stumbling block possible to try and keep me from doing my job. What do I do? I don’t hate her, but it is impossible. The boss doesn’t want to take care of major issues and every time something comes up, she throws it back in my face and twists everything around and tries to make me look like the bad person. What do I do?

Looks like you are stuck with an employee from hell. Here are three things that you can do:

1. If quitting is an option, do it as soon as possible, because the mental strain it is putting on you will eventually lead to health problems for you and even if the new job pays less or is less desirable in other ways, you are going to be still better off because you wouldn’t have to deal with nonsense at work.

2. You have not mentioned if you have spoken to human resources or higher ups in the organization. If she is thriving in the company, there must be a reason, or it could simply be that she is too good at playing the politics and no one at the top really knows her true colors. If you do approach the superiors, be prepared for the consequences. If she is really well connected at the top, it is you who could be axed. Many employees like her are just very crafty people and continue to go ahead by being mean because in the eyes of the management they are the ones who are getting things done, are leaders, and are willing to force others to work even harder.

3. If these two do not work for you, try a more spiritual approach. Think of her as merely a problem that you have to deal with on a daily basis, like daily commute or pain in your back. Don’t let her control your life. By yielding all this power to her, you have let her take charge of your emotions. Also try to compartmentalize your life. Yes, she is difficult at work, but put that behind you after you leave work. All of this is not easy to do, but these are some coping techniques while dealing with difficult people, and we all seem to have them in our lives, either at home or at work.

BTW, have you ever wondered if you could actually “join” her? Basically get on her side by boosting her ego, make her feel even better about her….basically, becoming friends with the Devil.