Friday, April 21, 2006

Honesty is such a lonely word

In the corporate world, being honest and to the point gets you into trouble. I have been warned this week that I am "too honest". When the partner tells you something you know is not going to happen,I am not supposed to say "that's not going to happen anyway". Instead, I should smile and say "Sure, I'll do my best to achieve that" and come back a week later, confessing that there is a "slight problem" and a "significant risk" that, despite my best efforts, it's not going to happen.

I was quite good at shutting up and smiling in the first year of my job. Somehow now though, such a short time before the MBA starts, it's hard to get going. I'm just myself which is not always good. There is another complication though. Not everybody likes politics. In my case, I should smile and say yes to most people initially, but then there are others even higher up than the partners who like honesty. They will rip your head off as soon as you try to waffle and blabla. They are the ones who like me. So it seems I have to change my approach constantly.

What is tough about this is that I know it's not a problem of my company. It happens everywhere. The higher up you get, the more politics you'll have to deal with. It's going to happen at any job in the future. So I'm seriously considering setting up my own business.

The final application deadline for company MBA scholarships at LBS is approaching and I want to dedicate this weekend to the Deutsche Bank women's scholarship worth
£20,000!! I'm sure I'm not the only one applying for that one, especially since the share of females in the MBA program seems to have jumped to ~30% this year. So my next post will be dedicated to scholarship applications. I hope my honesty doesn't get in the way of writing convincing essays ;-).


RusGirl said...

Good luck with the scholarship :)

And you've got the point about honesty

Guillaume said...

On honesty and worklife in partnership organisations, you might want to read "The Undomestic Goddess" during one of your flights.

As for starting your own business, having worked in a tiny startup, I think this is a great idea if you want to run away from office politics (as long as you don't have investors, VCs...)


Marina said...

Thanks darli'! Congrats to you as well on making the top 10!

Benny said...

I feel you.
Sometimes I feel the same way. But I have already decided to open my own business. Not now, but in the future. It's not only a wat to run away from politics, but to challenge yourself constantly and increasing you income opportunities.

Good luck with the scholarship. I am hoping you get it.

Benny said...

congratulations on the best of blogging results!!!

MBABlogger said...

Good luck with the scholarship essays and I hope your honesty earns you rewards :)

I plan to get into Consulting post MBA ..would be great if you could suggest me some stuff I can read to get a peek into how life is like as a Mgmt Consultant!!

angie said...

Thank you! How's your preparation for Oxford going? You're not blogging much recently!

Thanks for the reading advice, that's always welcome!

You're welcome! I hope you enjoy the subscription!

also thank you!

MBA blogger:
I'm not aware of any books similar to "Liar's Poker" or "Monkey Business" for investment banking. I was actually talking about this with my colleagues the other day: why hasn't anyone published a "book of revelations" yet? I thought it was because people are afraid to damage their alumni network (you could be excluded depending on what you write), but I was told the more likely reason is that you would be offered money to stay silent if you were to publish a book. I'm not sure if this is true. I didn't read any book about life as a consultant before I started, I just interned and that's how I found out.

Obviously you can read my blog once in a while to find out more ;-).