Many of us have fallen prey to “Friends of Office”, and this article below is a great lesson for many who love praise-singing and those who cannot decipher the wood from the trees. There is a big difference between: “Fair-weather friends” and “foul-weather friends.”
If you are now comfortable in life, or will one day have the fortune or misfortune to lead. Leadership is a fortune when you operate in a stable and established system, with people who understand their responsibility to the system. If you lead in a system where leadership is personalized, and the followers are scrambling for pickings, you have your end narrated before you begin. The story from our unanimous contributor begins:
Long ago, I was a made a Director on the 1st of December. By the 20th, I had 12 bags of rice in my store. More were landing, and I needed space for hampers. I do not get excited by such material things. I grew up in abundance in a family where we had most of our needs. Most of what thrills people as progress and achievements do not move me. I also witnessed great hardship and poverty, and I understand the difference.
Back to the story. I took my children to the store, asked them to count the bags of rice. I asked if they knew who owns the rice and who gifted them. They said, you daddy; and your friends gave you. I corrected them. I told them that the commodities were given to the director by friends of office. I promised to take them back to the store after I leave the office. I left office 3 weeks before Christmas. There was barely a bag, and a half and children remembered 6 years earlier. The lesson had been learnt.
I see many young people declaring everyone in office as their mentors. I have seen people laugh at dry jokes from witless officials. I have also witnessed people make philosophers of ordinary people in power, making ideology of inanities. I have seen words such as”doyen”, “erudite”, “distinguished”, misused and abused.
Please beware of office friends, those who are ready to lay down their lives for you while you are in office. They vanish once you leave. The same energy they used to praise-sing you, they transfer to those who succeed you. They are the first to condemn you, provide evidence against you as a way to testify to their loyalty to the new friends in office.
I see leaders shrink in size, frame and popularity once out of office because they built their lives to fit the office. Many never recover once they discover that they were defined by the office, not the other way around. There is a great falling away after office. Group by group, one by one, those circles pine away, and the friendships dissipate. If you were nobody, you would shrink to your true size.
What are the three types of friendships?
Sometime around 350 B.C., the Greek philosopher named three types of friendships: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, or friendships of the good, as described in Book VIII of The Nicomachean Ethics.
Where did the term fair weather friend come from?
This idiom is used since at least the mid-1800s but probably originated later. Though its origin is not available, it can be understood through a story. Fair-weather refers to mild weather, so the idiom refers to a friend who can be relied upon when the weather is good but abandons you when the weather turns stormy.