Off the rails

IBMers who have spent time looking at IBM’s Leadership Competencies may be familiar with the eight career Derailment Factors that IBM Learning has identified (hint: avoid them!).

I found a new one today.

After reaching out to my network in the wake of last week’s surprise, several people had identified one particular opportunity that was a plausible fit for me, and I’d asked my second-line manager to help connect me. I’d even sent her something which would pass as an internal résumé, at least for a first look. And she’d made contact and had a call scheduled with the executive who needed to fill the slot.

So I wasn’t surprised when she popped up on IM early this morning and asked a simple question: “I have a call with [redacted] – what do you want me to do (I can derail it, or push for it, or try to be neutral…..)”

I had a one word answer, straight from my gut:


I don’t think she was surprised.

And I was relieved to make my decision explicit.

She and I talked for a while. Both of us came away from the conversation happier, and with a slightly-revised plan for the rest of my time at IBM. Later today, I talked with my first-line manager so I could make sure he knew what was going on, since he’ll have to make the first move to implement the plan.

Welcome to the endgame.

For those trying to follow along in BluePages, note that my first-line manager is in Canada and doesn’t show up in my “reports-to” chain.

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2 Responses to Off the rails

  1. Dave says:

    Is it possible to post the text or at least a summary of what’s at those links without breaking BCGs? They’re internal and those of us previously ejected can’t see them… ;-)

  2. David says:

    I would feel uncomfortable posting much about the competencies and derailment factors, since it is IBM proprietary information.

    However, a little Googling reveals that IBM has published quite a bit about the competencies and derailment factors outside the firewall — for better retrievability, I’m going to write about them as today’s posting instead of replying here as a comment. Stay tuned….