In one of my previous jobs, our entire editorial staff was once assembled for what was billed as a “team-building get-together.” Its purpose, in theory, was to bolster morale and re-energize us for a number of mammoth editorial projects that were pending. The executive editor who had organized the soiree, then, inexplicably, singled out two members of the staff and waxed ad nauseum about how these two more than anyone else were responsible for the success of the publication. Nothing like a little ego boost — for other people — to keep you inspired. Needless to say, the rest of the session sank faster than a one-bladed helicopter. Within a month, two members of the team had left, while several others, including yours truly, were actively searching for greener pastures. For some reason, I recalled this unpleasant chapter in the pantheon of human resources disasters, while attending, the American Institute of CPAs’ Tech + Information Technology Conference last week in Las Vegas.

While I was saddened to see the Mirage hotel — the conference’s venue — and once the crown jewel of the Vegas Strip now transformed into a shopworn inhospitable hulk — I came away not so much with a greater understanding of all things technology, but I think with a greater vision of how to manage people.

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