1. The Entitled – Those who have been there for years (some from the beginning). They call the shots and have the most influence in the organization. You recognize them by the “entitled” badges they wear around the office.
2. The Visitors – Those who joined the company over the past year or so and are trying to prove themselves as “worthy” to be among the Entitled. You know them by the mental and emotional beatings they seem to take and the frustration they wear on their sleeves.
3. The Rulers – Those who built the corporation and make all the company decisions based on the advice of one of the 2 groups above. You recognize them because they always wear suits.
A colleague described it best when he said:
“It’s as if everyone is inside this castle, and they think of us as intruders trying to trespass onto their territory. They’ve all got their rifles ready, and they’re taking us out one-by-one as we get closer to the castle. All this to try and protect what’s theirs.”
The Entitled are so threatened by the fresh ideas and talent of the Visitors that they would do anything to protect themselves – even if it means never innovating, never growing and staying stagnant. The more I examine this type of surrounding, the truer his analogy becomes. There is no group in between the Entitled and the Visitors. You either fall into one category or the other.
In most companies, there is a handful of talented individuals who joined within the last couple of years. Though they bring great ideas and exciting innovations to the table, they keep running into the same wall for 2 reasons:
1. The Entitled aren’t comfortable with handing power over to the Visitors.
2. The Rulers don’t want to change.
So where does this leave the Visitors? Here’s some advice I’ve heard whispered several times:
“Nothing will change. You just have to deal with the way things are around here.”
To me, that comment screams dysfunction. How is that mentality normal? Suddenly, it’s okay to lay down your ideas and continue doing things the way they’ve always been done simply because no one wants confrontation or change? I suppose that’s how some Visitors dodge the repeated sniper attacks and make it inside the castle. But my question is: what’s it really like inside? I doubt it’s paradise.