John Filippe

Miracle Whip Vs. Mayonnaise

In many companies, I’ve sometimes felt like I am a minor character in The Clash of the Titans. Being a second-level manager below two warring first-level managers is kind of like doing the mamba in front of a coiled cobra. Each need your support, yet each are on opposite side of an issue. Eventually one side wins out and the other – being at the level they are – will bow out graciously. Yet their resolve to beat out the other seems to grow. The silly part of this scenario is that though competition is healthy, and competing ideas foster new ideas and potential, personality or ego seem to get involved. So instead of a healthy growth process, there seems instead to be a grudge match of wills that can be quite counterproductive.

I have this same thought when I get into the Miracle Whip versus mayonnaise debate with my friend. I was raised on Miracle Whip, and I can’t stand mayonnaise. She is just the opposite. Now I have tried food that has mayonnaise in it, and it would probably taste horrible with Miracle Whip, but, I have taken my stand, and I refuse to admit that mayo has any place on this planet. My friend will even attempt covert measures by slipping me mayonnaise instead of Miracle Whip to see if I notice, and for the most part, I always do. To be fair, I have done the same. Don’t even get me started on the covert vegan mayonnaise push! Some things just don’t belong!

So, what does this have to do with competing high-level managers? Have you ever noticed the decisions being made in some of these debates are more about their individual taste and habit and not the overall taste of the food or company vision?

The issue unfortunately spurs from the lack of a common vision. In many companies, the war begins between the top-level people because they don’t agree on the common vision or the path to get there. If the common vision is as simple as “to make money,” failure is eminent. There are too many ways to do that in a company.

Courtesy of iStock

Let’s go back to the Miracle Whip versus mayonnaise analogy. If we had a goal of eating the finest food in town, my prejudice of condiments wouldn’t even come into play. The goal is eating the best tasting food and has nothing to do with my opinion of what should be on my slice of bread, egg salad or veggie sandwich. Within a company, if the vision is not crystal clear, and the path to that goal is not clear, unhealthy arguments can occur. When we start arguing instead over the best way to live within the vision of the company, we can have healthy arguments that are actually productive.

So how do we assist in defining the goals of the company from the second level and avoid getting crushed by the on-going Clash of the Titans? In a practical and proper setting, I ask what the vision of the company is and what steps I can take to assist us in getting there. Sometimes, the question alone is enough to get the manager to think about it and maybe even decide that the goal is not as well defined as it should be. If the answer to that question is available, and they can express it, then bury yourself into helping achieve it. If anything, this will help the “Titans” refocus on what is important by breathing new life into a forgotten idea. If none of this works, then just get them a jar of Miracle Whip, because mayonnaise – vegan or otherwise – sucks.

John Filippe is an accomplished Casino Executive with over 20 years of Casino IT experience. He has worked nationally and internationally for several properties, and across many types of gaming from commercial, tribal, and riverboat entertainment facilities. He was a vendor with Bally Gaming and Systems in the late 90’s, and worked with the large expansion of tribal gaming during that time. His unique style of IT management was featured in the book “The Tech Buzzkill: How Top IT Leaders Fend Off the Tech “Buzz” to Focus on the Business” by Gerry Robinson and Manish Sharma. He is currently the Executive Director of MIS for Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Washington state. Contact John.