Manager as Ninja in the Triangle of Death

Here’s a ninja creed I found online and it gave me pause:

I am patient when life slows down,
I choose the course of justice and peace as the path in my life,
I do not let the unimportant things I may want determine my path,
I have ‘Fudoshin’, an immoveable spirit in time of sorrow, pain and resentment,
I am loyal to clan, family and friends of good heart,
I pursue the way of the ‘pen’ and the ‘sword’ with balanced determination.another translation:

  • 1. To know that patience comes first.
  • 2. To know that the path of mankind comes from justice.
  • 3. To renounce greed, laziness, and obstinacy.
  • 4. To recognize sadness, worry, and resentment as natural and to seek the immovable heart (fudoshin).
  • 5. To not stray from the path of loyalty and brotherly love and to delve always deeper into the heart of budo pursuing the ways of both the literary and martial arts with balanced determination.

Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda, 32nd Grand Master of 虎倒流骨法術

I am intrigued by conspicuous silences. In business management, I often find myself operating within limits. I have limited amounts of employees, equipment, and methodology. Sometimes these components are the cause of the problems, indeed the work itself, and upon review and analysis, testing and verifying, changes occur. The more strict and limiting the business model, the more likely it is to fail, but that doesn’t have anything to do with profitability. If you supply a very strict business model with aggressive management, it doesn’t necessarily mean that things will improve at all. It’s kind of confusing. It’s sometimes utterly baffling. Sometimes doing the exact opposite of what one would assume would work actually works, or it backfire tremendously.

The idea of management in the ruthless environment within which I received my business education boiled down to not reacting unless it profited the business model. In all cases, what we did was to give others the impression that we were sincerely trying to solve problems. The reason why I did what I did? To solve problems. What was my limitation? Capital: time and money. What was my limitation? Speed of profit. The longer it took to develop the culture, the impression of management, the more capital was lost. So, the business model, as duplicitous and transparent as it was, had to always be in my mind, and the bait-and-switch was incessant. I had to impress underlings that I was watching out for them irregardless of profit. Lies.  Take in all useful information, discarding what is useless, and use that information against obstacles of profit margin. Period. If I had to, I could fire staff, destroy equipment, paperwork, and property to remove responsibility of operations which would encroach on profitability. If I were directing staff to do things that would result in destruction of consistent outcomes, it was because of profit. If I did things to create more specific and predictable outcomes, profit again. Can I destroy these tools just as easily as I can acquire them? Maybe. Of course. No. Absolutely maybe not.Romper stomper!

Consistency itself could be a problem. It could boil down to a perception that I, my employees, or my supervisor, or my clients were “sleeping at the wheel”. Perception is different from reality. In every situation I was required to arbitrate employee and/or client and/or supervisor  motive, satisfy all parties, and make management an integral component to mediate these concerns. I called it The Triangle of Death. Between client, management and employees/capital, I was totally confined.

Triangle of Death
Triangle of Death

Like everyone else, I was constantly tested. There were moles everywhere, avenues of information that, whether I cared to acknowledge or not, would be supplying agents with sourcing data to destroy obstacles to profit. At the point where different forces within the organization created obstacles to overall profit, management would come in and monitor and report, test and verify possible solutions until  a solution was reached. These solutions were not always fair, transparent, or helpful. At this level of operations, I was removed from being an active agent in the dynamics of the operation. The problem itself became a useful tool.

Problems can be tools. Failures can be tools. Irresponsibility can be tools, so can every hateful and devious caprice one could dream up in order to force individuals or groups of people into positions to be forced to be confronted with being responsible for the active existence of a problem. In this model, failures or limits of ability, weaknesses, become tools.

If the organization of people below me felt threatened, they’d single out an individual target or distracting element of operations. I’d use the ruse if it protected my position, and ensured profit. If I felt targeted, I could bullshit or work me or my department out of the equation. If my colleague felt threatened, we could throw someone else, or other departments under the bus. We could throw methodology under the bus. We could throw the perception itself under the bus and blame the messenger. If we blamed the supervisor or client, it was risky, but if it was a keyhole into a reserve of greater profit, the higher up would bite the bullet, the client would use the “problem” as another tool for some other end. Meanwhile, money falls from sky. Ultimately they would be able to profit from the situation, use the scenario to their advantage, and shift the blame back downhill when necessary.

Management is pure bullshittery. It’s not even sales. In sales, you get something in return for something else. In management, you are receiving the impression of a delivery of service. Management is sort of like the empty spaces between the sounds of a melody. There’s more implicit than complicit forces at work in management. I avoided writing things down or leaving any shred of proof of anything I did unless I absolutely had to, and if I had to, I consulted with my supervisor first. Stalling is golden. Stalling is an effective way to remove force behind motivation to create adverse reaction to profit. People go back to sleep. Management is the closed door, the conspicuous silence, the sense that an exclusion of information is going to replace a conspicuous problem. So, management is always appearing to be cool while the shit is in the fan. It’s putting as much shit in the fan as possible. Sometimes I’d be hearing about how shitty everything was, then put shit in the fan and have people ask me to turn the speed up. People forget they even smell it. Put as many horrible things into operations as possible. Get away with anything and everything. When people are limited to the information they receive, speculation ultimately serves no purpose. Mindless profit.

Whatever I can get people to sign off on, actually create proof of responsibility, is a weapon. Its weaponized bullshit. If a sword is falling directly toward you, it looks like a thin line. You might not even know you’d just cut your own head off when you signed your name to a line of bullshit.

If a person has to do A,B, and C, I can create an order that makes it apparently easy for that person to execute, then prove that their execution is flawed, switch the order, or blame their motivation and increase workload. I can put off C altogether, or add D, E, F, G and H to it, unless that’s a problem, then I can add H to it. The whole time, the only thing that mattered was A, but I can use the horrible state of any of the other elements to my advantage. If H is actually executed at the end of a systemic success leading to it, I’ll simply ignore the process and switch the order again.  I can decrease the components in practice while adhering to them in theory, and blame others for following suit. And then I can use  that as a method of cutting pay, hours, and responsibility. Decrease the need for their position entirely. I can show up late everyday while making everyone insanely punctual, then fire someone for doing the same. Not applying the rules to oneself encourages irresponsibility, and hones the tools of bullshittery. Camouflage is necessary.

If a person has to verify that they do A,B, or C, I can demand components of proof they cannot possibly deliver A, B, and C, and say I’m going to take their position and ask for a change on their behalf, have them “sign the petition”, then use that as proof of their unreliable efforts and suspect lack of interest in protecting their position. Horrible. conversely, I can make them culpable for problems outside of their control because they don’t verify the problems. The only choice is ultimately obedience, confinement, a refinement of possible interaction. Some people call this aesthetic slavery, others call it sophistication. I don’t see the difference.  I could blame their supervisor for not following up on my own shitty efforts. I could use that as a motivator to attack all management at that level. I can simultaneously help and hurt anyone at any time. The only thing I can’t control is frequency and amplitude, because those elements require complex desirable outcomes (work) involving other elements. It’s important to determine what one can and can’t control, and trying to stay within that particular triangle of death, and die there.

Management is getting away with stuff. It’s doing more with less. Occasionally, though, problems arise outside the scope of those which are purposely manufactured by methodology, and that can create a collusion of unexpected outcomes that pull everyone into the same boat. The more a problem pulls everyone within the scope of responsibility, the more likely that even that problem becomes a source of greater profitability. But it comes at a price. Someone gets hit.

It comes down to trust and personal relationships. It’s like convincing someone to put their hand in a bucket of acid and telling them pain is not real, and only one-handed people make sense. Pure malarkey. Balderdash. There’s so many ways to describe deceptive practices. There’s also ways to describe ways in which praxis leads to innovation. And innovation must either include profit as the prime motivator, or it’s  irrelevant. If anything, innovation usually leads to loss of capital and reinforces prime directives of rigid management. Innovation can usually cause a loss of capital. So, even success is suspect. If anything, doing shitty work is expected.

The degree to which one allows oneself to perform work of a substandard nature is one’s own burden, and no one else’s. It just gets harder and harder to maintain standards. Eventually, you end up with situations where work is no longer possible. Operations dictate structural limitations out of concern for regulatory functions. Regulatory functions are like a sweet spot in management terrorism, something which can be reliably used as a nuclear option at any time. Everyone fails perfect regulation, but only individual elements need be changed to satisfy the process. The end result is the same: a registered difference in operations at the most minimal level is all that’s required to adhere to regulations. Regulators want to do as little as possible. It’s my job to make their job easy. Books cooked, staff educated, sights unseen and out of mind are ready and verified.

At this point, the restrictions of operations must require that one organization of people must assume responsibility for the delivery of a service when another group is unable to execute. So, even failing regulations is a way to increase profit. You can use your own weakness against another organization within the company, the client organization, or the delivery of capital. You can fire the guy who changes the air filter when the shit’s in the fan. You can sue the power company. You can declare war on the country that digs up the ore to make the copper wire. You get reamed for things getting so screwed up you can’t tell heads from tails, then use the opportunity to recognize the importance of the person at the highest point in the equation for pointing it out. That’s magic. The people at the top try to shift all blame downhill. All of the profit has to go uphill. All of the credit goes uphill.

Management is essentially irresponsibility and insanity used as a tool for profit. If it’s not being used in a destructive, aggressive way, there is a modicum of profit at base levels that accumulate into huge, huge losses. There is always “room for improvement”. Unfortunately, most people don’t ever see the inside of the room where the profit is, they just see the inside of the room where the “improving” is going on.

Hence, we have micromanagement. Innocence is thinking the world is in pursuit of truth when it is in the grips of powerful forces seeking nothing but money, and more power to get it. I always have this Shiretown fantasy, a sort of belief that some place somewhere there are fair practice organizations in control. Sadly, I’ve never known such things to exist.

To me, a good job would be one in which all the credit and all the power goes downhill while the profits spread at every level. In this scenario, the ones at the top become merely consultants, people whose knowledge of good business practice, employee satisfaction and profitable business relationships and networks is position they inhabit. it’s not so much as a job as it is a circumstance of other people consistently providing proof of good ideas put into practice, making the person who inhabits executive functions holders of great ideas, or greater control over circumstances requiring the impression of such. It’s all a matter of perception.

There are things happening behind closed doors, and things not being said. These conspicuous silences are what trouble me. I see the seeds of my own destruction in their proliferation. In this age of instantaneous mas communication, controlling the flow of information would seem to be the best tool, but it’s not.  A more agile model must be proposed, a crystallization of knowledge that depends more and more on educating and uplifting the lowest, making each individual of an organization an atomized version of the company or organization as a whole. It’s like a hologram. In any one component of the organization, the entirety of its operation is revealed, but in order to recognize the profundity of such humbled evidence, one needs to have that perspective. People do not have that kind of vision. People get swallowed up in petty concerns and that sinks everything back into the windy shitstorm they’re trying to escape. The problem is that there is such uselessness, obsolescence and destruction.

I guess when wars start, people lose information, and people begin the process of building this mess again. The silence of the heroic fallen are immortalized because the necessity of the destruction of one’s own people is also a tool, a way to power. Wiping the slate clean. But it’s not clean, it’s just empty, it’s barren. And it’s business as usual. Thank goodness I’ve gone fishin’. It’s quiet out here. You have to be quiet, you have to be still to catch things in still water, but you have to be mobile to catch things in swift streams. Either way, bears are going to smell the fish guts and eat me. The end, now get back to work!



[burp] Has honey in there? [burp]

This article was written by a bear with psychic abilities and telekinesis and I cannot be held personally responsible for any information perceived to be within this document.

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