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15th September 2022
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A Cautionary Tale Of Three Managers

15th September 2022


He could sell ice to the Eskimos, I was told.

Always ready to close a deal. Gold cufflinks, impeccably ironed shirts.

Cigarette-stained smile.

He had the chat.  Client meetings with him were almost cinematic.  A sales purist, living for the chase.

But The Salesman had one fatal flaw.

He was a loner. He reeked of self-interest.

He hated people.

He loved his Audi.

The Salesman would build you a million-pound pipeline…but could only build a relationship with something living if there was a signature to chase.

The Salesman lost his team and was last seen alone in his Audi, eating a pasty, on the way to another client meeting.


This guy, he liked to intimidate. He was big. Huge.

Like a Silverback in a suit.

The Giant didn’t like me.

The first day he was made my manager The Giant made a point to put me in my place publicly.

I was scent marked.

Meetings with The Giant could be excruciating. He would take command of the room and often talk gibberish.  His people would nod sycophantically.

The Giant read management books and made sure you knew it. One time he read something a bit woo-woo and started writing rambling emails about emotions.

Everyone laughed (quietly). The Giant had FEELINGS?!

Who knew?  On rare occasions, he would smile it looked like he was in pain.

It was a joyous day when The Giant left town.


He rose through the ranks after everyone else left.

Never particularly ambitious, The Company Man was the least offensive option.

A stop-gap. A steady hand to steer the ship.

But The Company Man seemed bedraggled, weighed down by it all.

Like a stressed, scampering meerkat anxiously trying to avoid being noticed by the hawks above.

For the Company Man, survival was the name of the game. Day by day. Meeting after meeting. Motions, one after the other.

He was a nice guy. Inoffensive. Unopinionated. Uninspiring.

A Tesco meal-deal manager.

The ship survived.

The Company Man did not.

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