The Corporate Juggler

There you have it! Even for the weary warrior, quite used to being reduced to a hapless bystander by corporate shenanigans, this may cause a slightly raised eyebrow – or not!

A juggler has traditionally been viewed as someone who can keep you captivated, even mesmerized, with what appears to be an impossible set of skills – keeping an assortment of objects such as balls, clubs, knives and burning sticks endlessly in the air. Fast forward to the current day – and you have the corporate juggler. The similarities cannot be overstated:

  1. both like to play with multiple objects at the same time, gradually increasing the number of things they juggle
  2. both get rid of things as soon as they arrive
  3. both do not hold one specific object/topic long enough to create ownership
  4. they do not seek anyone’s assistance but quit the game at their discretion

In simple terms, corporate jugglery is about bouncing around problems and issues – not to be confused with delegation where responsibility is handed over. The suave manager never refuses to take on new assignments or solve new problems; in fact, he/she volunteers to take on new ones. But the input-output processing takes place so rapidly that the elapsed time needs to be measured in nanoseconds.

You need the sales report by tomorrow? No problem – here is an email to 200 people. You need new chairs for your department? OK – here is a 10-page questionnaire on the specifications for you to fill up. Your laptop is not working? OK, I don’t know what the problem is but I will put in a request for the operating system to be upgraded. Oh…. the sales report … have the emails come back with the sales figures? OK, I will ask my secretary to enter them on a spreadsheet. You filled in the specifications for the chairs? Alright, can you now get me a list of all the people in your department and their weights to see the strength of the chairs we need? Nice, I seem to have some free time – let me see – I can help with preparing coffee for the meeting. Can someone arrange the coffee pods in decreasing order of strength while I ask someone else to fetch cream and sugar from the pantry? OK guys, we will pick up the threads tomorrow……….

You get the idea!

As with everything else, the performance of corporate jugglery tends to be at its best at higher levels of the corporate ladder where access to knives, sticks and other destructive objects is almost infinite!


11 thoughts on “The Corporate Juggler

  1. Here’s my private confession to you:

    I am trying hard to correlate each act of jugglery that you mention to personalities I keep meeting in real life.


    On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 9:03 AM, Corporate Life 101 wrote:

    > Corporate Life posted: “There you have it! Even for the weary warrior, > quite used to being reduced to a hapless bystander by corporate > shenanigans, this may cause a slightly raised eyebrow – or not! A juggler > has traditionally been viewed as someone who can keep you captivated,” >

  2. The only difference between traditional and corporate jugglery, probably is that the viewers are entertained in the former whereas it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth in the case of the latter.

    What a fitting comparison though 😁

  3. Corporate jugglery requires as much skill as a juggler needs. I’ve tried without the skill and got injured. It’s a valuable skill worth developing.

  4. An astute analogy. Some managers, often bred from the corporate culture, manage requests for support by giving people more work to do. “Work volume insufferable? Send me a detailed email with your business case as to why we should add to staff so I can forward up the chain?” As the overworked supervisor stares in disbelief, wondering how they will find the time to do this write up, thinking, “Isn’t that your job?” Clever sleight of hand.

  5. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I enjoyed reading your w5ork. If “OK” please let me know via email.


    • Autumn Cote, you may go ahead and cross-post one or more of my blog entries to as long as you clearly mention me as the author. And, please let me know every time you cross-post. Thanks.

  6. Hello Autumn Cote,

    After further review, I have decided that I would not want my blog posts reposted or otherwise referenced on a site such as yours ( So, please do not reference my posts on your web site. Thank You.

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