But Words Are All I Have

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” – The Bible, St. Matthew 7:20

For most people, that is to say, for ordinary people, what we feel we can do and what we actually do are seldom the same thing. Patrick K. is a very ordinary person making an extraordinary salary and, frankly, for the salary, we thought he would do more.

PK is a senior account manager. Having been around a long time, he is well known in the industry. But being well known in the industry is like being a large hen in a henhouse. So what? If you want to make an impression – if you really want to impress the hens – hire a fox.

In fact, the Small Office recruited PK away from a competitor based primarily on a reputation he himself carefully cultivated for over twenty years. But reputation is a shadow. It gets longer or shorter depending on where you stand. Ultimately, it disappears in the light of day.

If you truly want to impress the hens, hire a fox.

PK certainly talks the talk and in the evangelist role for which he was hired, I suppose that should be good enough. But it is a year later and PK is still talking. And talking. And in all that time, I have not found that he has had a singular thought of his own. Winston Churchill once said that large views will always triumph over small ideas. But what triumph is there over one who has no ideas at all.

He can come up with a perfectly compelling argument, but here, in the land of PowerPoint, PK has yet to put together a cohesive presentation. He cannot analyze, strategize or plan. How could he have advanced his career to this level without any skills whatsoever?

The last straw for me came yesterday when we visited a potential client that PK has been wooing for months. He has wined them and dined them and placed their company on a pedestal like it was the Statue of Liberty and we were the tired, the poor, the wretched refuse of some teeming shore.

Shortly after our arrival, a senior manager from this potential client leaned over to me and said, curiously, “So what is it that your company does?” I was astonished.

Perhaps that is PK’s greatest strength. Having virtually nothing to work with, he still manages to astonish. That alone is an achievement worthy of note.

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