By Edward J. Fern, Time to Profit, Inc.

Bring me a RockThroughout the time I was employed by others, I played a game I call, “Bring Me a Rock.” The game has thousands of minor variations but they all follow the same basic format.

The game begins when the boss calls me into his or her office and invites me to have a seat. Over the next several minutes of extended conversation, the boss’s message can easily be summarized in four words, “Bring me a rock.” I’d then return to my own cubicle or office and construct a list of the features I believed the boss’s rock should have and begin to study where and how such a rock might be developed.

Hours, days, weeks, or months later I’d return to the boss’s office and proudly place my rock squarely in the middle of the desk. Aghast or at least disdainfully, the boss would ask, “What the #e!! is that?” Gently I would remind, “You asked me to bring you a rock.”

“That,” derisively, “is not the rock I wanted.”

Then I would inquire, “Can you tell me about the rock you want?” “Yes!” emphatically, “I will know it when I see it!”

Eventually my last boss got tired of the game and let me know I was being laid off. As I heard his words, I realized that I too was tired of the game.

If this has happened to you, this blog is just for you.

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