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Gordon’s Knot

BY MARC BRINGMAN

When a superior demands something of Gordon that goes against his principles, the situation gets tight around theAT C evel 1 collar. How can Gordon do the right thing without compromising his and his boss’s job? Find out what happens when a subordinate stands his ground, and learn an important lesson your credit union’s managers can take away from this heated debate.

Gordon sat quietly at his desk, studying the results of the recent in-house management training seminar. The report came in two sections: individual feedback by name and department and a summary. Participating managers were told that their individual results would never be released except as part of the aggregate. By asking many personal questions, department trainers hoped to provide participants with a unique insight into their potential and how they rank among their peers. Gordon was tasked to compile the information and prepare an executive summary to accompany the aggregate results – a simple, straightforward task and one that Gordon never thought would threaten anyone’s career. By lunchtime, he was in the process of adding the finishing touches to the report, and although he was a young manager, he knew the importance of producing a finished product. Even his e-mails were always organized and well written. Doing the right thing was a way of life for Gordon. He worked hard at it, and until today, the “right thing” had always been easy.
At precisely 11:57 a.m. the phone rang. He remembered the time because he had just checked his watch, anticipating lunch. It was also the moment in which his budding career began to wither. Gordon picked up the phone. “Gordon Hanes.” “Hanes, Hanley here,” said Charlie Hanley, the group VP. Gordon tried but failed to drop his voice an octave. He was sure only a dog could hear him when he replied, “Mr. Hanley, what can I do for you?”

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