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Game of the Month The Boss Said

The Boss Said

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When playing the Boss Said, people invoke the name of a senior executive to help them get what they want or to add weight to the points they’re making. They may make a request and imply that the CEO or some other executive wanted it done. In some instances, they may simply assume that this is what the boss wants. In other instances, they make it up.

The game transfers power from the boss to the person who is making the request and using the boss’s name. It often is played in cultures where communication is very formal and

hierarchical, and no one would dare to raise a challenge or even to ask for clarification from top executives.


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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.

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Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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