I am a bean counter by profession. Many people think that most bean counters are introvert in nature and do not like interacting with others. So bean counters generally lose out in terms of knowing how to please their boss.
Since ancient China time, all court officials swamped around the Emperor like bees to honey. Even wise Emperors such as Qian Long (1711-1799) from the Qing Dynasty, also favored those bootlickers such as He Shen who was notorious for being the most corrupted official in China history.
Even in modern times, such practices are still in abundance. You will see many of the staff of an organization flocking around the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) telling him/her how awesome or great he/she is. There are also staff who gladly tramped over colleagues or junior level staff or refuse to lift a finger to help out in work request but if the request is from the CEO, they will become super pro-active and rush faster than a speeding bullet to fulfill the request. The art of bootlicking thus has several levels of competency akin to basic, medium and advanced bootlicker skills.
I can still recall an amusing incident whereby one colleague ask another one to help buy some famous Bak Kwa (Lim Chee Kuan) in Chinatown as the latter colleague is staying near the Chinatown area. The colleague staying in Chinatown said that the queue is always damn long and bluntly told off the requesting colleague to be more considerate and not to waste other people’s time. But strangely, when the CEO wanted to buy some for his wife, the Chinatown colleague immediately volunteered to go down and queue for him….really OMG!
It is good to be marketing oneself in order to let the Boss know more about you and also so that they will treat one favorable in terms of career progression. But too much of such bootlicking do create a serious problem in an organization. There are always a group of people who do not contribute much in terms of actual work deliverables to the organization but still managed to survive by being an awesome bootlicker to their Boss.
This does lead to an issue of perceived unfairness arising in terms of performance appraisals and leads to more and more bootlickers appearing in the organization. Such organizations eventually got permeated with such a toxic environment that became flooded with incompetent employees who cannot value add and will lead to the demise of the business. Hence the tone set by the management of a company is always vital for any successful business. One should keep an eye or ear open for market news when investing in companies.
Last but not least, I think to say out all those mushy mushy stuff to the Boss does require great courage. It is ok to do it but don’t overdo it. Focus on the actual deliverables instead of taking such short cut in life.
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