Nope, I didn’t mean “trench coat”… There are some colleagues of ours that follow the turncoat fashion. They will quickly align themselves to the new leadership and never bat an eyelid selling their soul and their friend’s soul if need be. Many of them get ahead quickly and reach the pinnacle of their careers very soon.
This post isn’t about them, it’s about what you do when suddenly you find the very people you trusted have turned turncoat. First, be alert that it can happen to the best of the people. There are many different kinds of pressure that an individual faces and like, wise old Abe said, to test a man’s (gender neutral) character, give him power. In the corporate world power comes from position so when people get promoted ahead of their time, they don’t know how to deal with the new position. If the leader is a good person, then they get coached, but if the leader is him/herself a turncoat then the new promotee learns that fashion.
Watch out for people getting promoted and then the subtle changes in their behaviour. They suddenly laugh a little more at the jokes that the leader cracks, their time becomes a little more precious, their conversations get muted, they suddenly start quoting the leader at all times …. Very small changes, but you can catch them if you stay alert. There aren’t too many solutions, one is to find a different team and move out of these people’s sphere of influence or two is to move out of the organization or three is to become a fashion follower :). At no point, try and be a threat, unless you have the gumption to stand your ground.
Turncoat fashion is as fickle as the fashion industry and class is eternal. Stick to your values and be a class apart and let the fashion followers prance about till their Karma socks them hard !! Chill.