Who is John Shaft?…Corporate Psycho and Provocateur, or just Misunderstood

Office Politics: A Rise to the Top

John Shaft was no fluke. It was his real name and he joined Klink Pty Ltd as managing director for a reason. His track record was like Afghanistan, a perpetual left over of wars that go back centuries with remnants of war machines littered across the field. Everywhere that John Shaft worked resembled a battle ground, collateral damage, and a big mop-up bill that soaked into investors’ pockets. So why did corporations hire him when they knew the consequences? Simply, it was desperation to win the battle at any cost. The hatchet man, chainsaw, Colonel Klink, it did not matter what you labeled him because everyone felt the same; he was an outright egotistical psychopath.

His 6 ft 5 presence with his sculptured face, accentuating lines, full lips and shaved head would frighten you. If you looked closely you would notice a broken nose from his school yard bully days. Stocky and slightly overweight, he loved cuffed striped Hugo shirts, dark overcoats and top hats on cold days. If you were summoned to his office, watch out, as it was not going to be a pleasant. The board of directors needed John Shaft to stop the war between corporate and operations. The company was in decline and the stock price was tumbling. Analysts had delivered a severe downgrade as institutions dumped the stock daily. Klink was cheap and rumors made it subject to a takeover from rivals Maxwell Glow. The war had already claimed several key personnel caught in the crossfire and used as scapegoats. Those responsible for the war still headed their departments and managed to escape crucifixion, until now. John Shaft was on their tales and not taking prisoners. He had three months to clean the place and a healthy bonus to boot if he could get the business back on track.

However, there was a precondition. The board of Klink wanted the public and the media to see the organizational changes in a positive light. Too much negative press was also contributing to the slide in the share price. Klink had become a media circus spiraling out of control like a tangled up trapeze act. Getting rid of people was easy for John Shaft because he didn’t deal with the consequences. He could decimate an organization, make it lean, get his lofty pay cheque and then leave it for some other bugger to pick up the pieces. In order to get the job, Shaft had to prepare a good news spin on how he was going to sell the organizational restructure to a hungry pride of media lions.  To his credit, he came up with a unique and unorthodox approach.  He would set up the first ever corporate refugee centre. Any employee of Klink who was given the boot would be eligible to obtain free support from the corporate refugee centre. It was an unusual method for distressed workers and corporate casualties of free market economics and executive stuff ups. The board loved the idea and gave Shaft the go ahead.

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