I was reading through my emails a few days ago when my Quora updates lead me to this statement …
“My ability to develop software has been improving monotonically over the years, but I have gone from good company to bad company, to good company. I was considered good in a good company. Then I was considered bad the month after I started at a bad company. Then I went to a good company and was suddenly good again. And I was improving monotonically. After you do this enough times, you realize that it’s not you. It’s the quality of the company.” – Link to Quora article
This struck a reasonance with me. Based on what this person has written and my own experiences we can draw up the following scenario …
So first of all it is unlikely that he was either in a wholly good company or wholly bad company but the observation of the good or bad company was based entirely on the people giving him the good or bad references.
Secondly I would like to point out that in this context good or bad is only an expression to describe the positive or negative references so when I state good company, good column or good reference it means positive reference and when I say bad company, bad column or bad reference it means negative reference there is more to it than this though, keep reading.
Now based on the diagram above let us say the world was divided into 2 categories of people, bad column and good column.
One of these categories of people in this case the bad column category are the group of people that are solely responsible for the negative references that people are receiving today.
One of these categories of people in this case the good column category are the group of people that are solely responsible for all the positive references that people are receiving today.
This means that all the bad references this person was receiving was from people who are in the bad column category and all the good references that the person was receiving was from people in the good column category.
So what does this mean in terms of the good or bad reference? Well let us say you walked into a company where the recruitment manager was in the good column category and you tell him that you recieved a bad reference at the previous company.
Would that make a difference as to whether or not you get the job? Remember this good column person would have given you a good reference rather than a bad one for the exact same work.
So would this good column recruitment manager be able to spot the bad column category statement? If the good column category viewed the quality of your work would the good column person even care about the bad reference?
Now let us say you walked into a company where the recruitment manager was in the bad column category and you tell him that you recieved a good reference at the previous company. Remember this bad column person would have given you a bad reference rather than a good one for the exact same work. Well exactly what I said above for the good column person applies equally in this scenario, would the bad column person care about the good reference?
Is there any continuity between the bad column and good column category people? Will recieving a bad reference from the bad column category people “really” effect your relationship with the good column category people? Or does it just not matter?
So what is the solution to this guys problems if he sees getting a bad reference as a problem. The solution is to find work in a company where your manager is in the good column category of people. The “ideal” solution for this person is to find work in a company where all employees are in the good column category of people.
I say “ideal” solution because for the most part it is just an “ideal” because most companies have a mixture of people from the bad column and good column categories.
Maybe the good column director hired somone in the bad column to oversee a position at the company. A few years down the line the bad column employee has hired more of his bad column friends into the company. Now all that remains at the company is a mixture of people.
Or maybe it is a lot worse for the good column director and the company is now predominatly bad column and it is only a matter of time before the good column director gets thrown out of the company.
Please bear in mind that all of the scenarios I have described above can equally apply to the bad column category people as well, just swap the words “bad column” and “good column” and read it again, you get the idea.
It is also important when talking about these bad column and good column categories of people that I am not talking about superficial personality traits that people have picked up but I am talking about the way in which people are born.
The bad column category people and the good column category people have additional traits other than the references they give that define them as bad column or good column. It is something more fundamental in their make-up which leads the bad column category people to give bad references and the good column category people to give good references.
For example you may occasionally get a bad column category person pretending to be a good column person and giving out a good reference but this would be unnatural for the person and at heart he may believe differently. He has not given the good reference because he believes it but to gain something for himself.
So going back to this “ideal” solution. Would not the ideal solution be then to have companies that consist of wholly bad column category people and companies that consist of wholly good column category people?
If you are director of a company and you are a wholly good column category person why are you employing bad column category people?
If you are director of a company and you are a wholly bad column category person why are you employing good column category people?
Is the ideal solution to simply have a company of your own category people?
What about your clients? If you are good column company director would you take on clients that are in the bad column category? If you are a bad column company director would you take on clients that are in the good column category? If so why?
This is not about “firing people” or “getting rid of people”. Although I believe a lot of this goes on, a good column category manager gets promoted and decides to fire a few bad column category people and vice versa.
It is about dealing with issues where they matter most and that is at the front door of the company. There is no point in either bad column or good column letting in their opposite and then sit their whining that this opposite is spoiling it for us.
The company must have a director and the director must fit into one of the categories described above. As the company director it is the company directors responsibility to ensure that only his / her category of people are given jobs in the company.
Ahh well, our company has 2 directors, one in the bad column category and one in the good column category. Yes, exactly, this sort of partnership should never have been formed in the first place.
Why would anyone in the good column category want to be surrounded by people in the bad column category? Why would anyone in the bad column category want to be surrounded by people in the good column category?
As the company director you had the chance to create your personal Utopia and not have anyone spoil it for you. So why let in a bunch of people from the opposite category?
As stated earlier it is not about someone climbing the corporate ladder and firing those in the opposite category because he or she does not like them.
It is more about those of a particular category not employing the opposite category in the first place. Do not employ the opposite category, do not have the opposite category as your clients.
Alternatively you could divide the company into good column people and bad column people and put them in seperate teams. Have the good column people deal with good column clients and the bad column people deal with bad column clients.
If you want positive references and reviews why work with someone as a client or employee who is going to give you bad references and reviews? Or as a bad column company employer why would you employee a good column employee to then give them a bad reference from which they will start touting their opinions on websites like Glassdoor?
How many more Glassdoor reviews are we going to hear about “revolving door” companies with high staff turnover or firing people over not being a “cultural fit”.
Yes the bad column or good column category person may have accepted the job at the predominatly opposite category company and it turned out the person was “not a good fit” but whoes fault is that? In my opinion it is the solely the employers responsibility.
The employer knows the state of his / her company, he knows which category he / she belongs to at heart. Why employee the opposite?
This is not a matter of pity or feeling sorry, a good column category person rejecting a bad column category job applicant warrants no pity, ohh poor bad column category person has been rejected for job, look the bad column category person can go to companies that are operated by bad column category people, he / she can get bad column category people as clients, he / she can be invited to parties that are hosted by bad column category people, he / she is friends with other bad column category people, yes, he / she has friends can you believe it, yes and bad column categories friends are bad column category people so what place does the bad column category person have in your good column category company anyway? Vice-versa.
You can only lose a job if you have been given one, well in this ideal you would not lose your job because you would never have been given one in the first place. At least not in a company of your opposite column where you would not fit anyway.
So for the people out there saying “getting fired was the best thing that happend to me”. Well it may have been in that instance for you personally. This was probably due to moving from a bad column person company to a good column person company.
Note that if you got fired from a bad column person company and move to a another bad column person company then it is unlikely that your situation will get any better in terms of the firings and job references they give you.