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FAILURE  3'?m2f Leadership, compassion, failure

BOSS -- (enters, crosses to far exit) Send in Harold Nilman.
(paces)

NILMAN -- (enters timidly) You wanted to see me, Boss?

BOSS -- Yes, I did. Do you know WHY I wanted to see you, Nilman?

NILMAN -- I think so, Boss.

BOSS -- Tell me.

NILMAN -- I think it's about my failure, Boss.

BOSS -- How long have you worked for me, Nilman?

NILMAN -- Nine years, Boss.

BOSS -- Have you ever had a catastrophic failure like the
whopper you just committed?

NILMAN -- No, Boss.

BOSS -- Do you think this is some kind of trend, Nilman?

NILMAN -- Oh, no sir. I have thorough written records. I know
exactly where I went wrong and which warning signs I ignored.

BOSS -- So, you're admitting that there were warning signs?

NILMAN -- Yes, Boss.

BOSS -- And you admit that you ignored the warning signs?

NILMAN -- Yes, Boss.

BOSS -- Uh huh. And what do you expect me to do about this,
Nilman?

NILMAN -- Well, I'm not suggesting your course of action, Boss.
But I'm sure a fair number of bosses would probably fire me for
this failure.

BOSS -- What would you do if you were me, Nilman?

NILMAN -- I suppose I might fire me too.

BOSS -- Uh huh.

NILMAN -- Is that what you're going to do, Boss? Are you going
to fire me?

BOSS -- No.

NILMAN -- No?

BOSS -- (stops) No. I'm going to promote you.

NILMAN -- I'm sorry, Boss, I thought you just said you were
going to PROMOTE me. That's not what you meant was it?

BOSS -- Yes, Nilman, I'm going to promote you. I'm going to make
you a supervisor.

NILMAN -- I'm sorry, I don't understand.... Not that I'm looking
a gift horse in the mouth, but... for nine years I have had
numerous successes in my department and you never promoted me
once. But now that I've failed miserably, you're going to
promote me?

BOSS -- That's right, Nilman.

NILMAN -- Why?

BOSS -- Because you failed.

NILMAN -- Because I failed?

BOSS -- Yes, Nilman. For nine years you have had nothing but
successes. If I had promoted you then, you would have been
missing a key ingredient in a supervisor.

NILMAN -- And what key ingredient is that, Boss?

BOSS -- Compassion.

NILMAN -- Compassion?

BOSS -- That's right, Nilman. If I had promoted you with an
unbroken string of successes, you would have expected perfection
from your employees. And nobody is perfect, Nilman, not even
you.

NILMAN -- So I found out.

BOSS -- So, congratulations, Nilman! (shakes hands)

NILMAN -- Thank you, Boss. (turns to exit, turns back) Oh, Boss?

BOSS -- Yes, Nilman?

NILMAN -- Why didn't you tell me about this nine years ago?

BOSS -- Suppose I did, Nilman. What would you have done?

NILMAN -- I suppose I might have faked a failure to get
promoted.

BOSS -- Would you have the compassion that you have now?

NILMAN -- I suppose not, Boss.

BOSS -- As a reward for your frankness and honesty, I'll let you
name your own successor when you move up the ladder again.
(exiting) Who are you going to pick, Nilman?

NILMAN -- (follows) Probably someone with a little compassion,
someone who knows the value of failure.

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